Zabaglione Italian Custard

by Renee on March 28, 2013

Zabaglione Italian Custard | Magnolia Days

I had a lot of egg yolks. I made these wonderful coconut cupcakes which only used egg whites. How to use the yolks was the question. One thing I did was scramble a couple and make a sandwich using them, cheese, and prosciutto I had leftover from a pasta dish. It was a great sandwich but not one I should eat every day. Then it came to me to make zabaglione, an Italian custard.

I made Zabaglione for the first time several years ago. It was for a homemade tiramisu. We were celebrating my next door neighbor’s birthday and I cooked an Italian feast. I followed the recipe I had back then and did it all by hand. As in hand-whisking the custard as it is cooking over the simmering water. My arms were so tired and I thought it would never get done. This time I went the easy route. I used a hand mixer and it is so much better. The only thing is I made a big mess splattering it everywhere. Next time I need to use a deeper bowl.

I served the custard with blackberries. There were some really pretty ones in the store and I could not resist buying them. You can serve it with any berries, cookies, biscotti, or whatever you like to go with custard. It is made with wine so be aware of that if you have children. There may be some residual alcohol left after the cooking process. I’m not a culinary scientist so I cannot verify it for sure.

How do you use extra egg yolks? I would like more ideas and inspiration of what to do with them. I do not like to waste food so any tips would be great. I’d like to know for the next time I cook or bake something that calls for only egg whites. Plus it will give me a new cooking adventure. I do love to try new things.

Zabaglione Italian Custard

30 minutes

Makes 4 servings.

Zabaglione Italian Custard

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan.

In a large heatproof bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Beat using an electric mixer on high speed until mixture is light and the sugar is dissolved, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl during mixing to incorporate all the sugar.

Add the Marsala, salt and nutmeg to the bowl. Lower the heat to the saucepan to bring the water to a simmer. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Make sure water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Beat mixture on medium speed for about 13 minutes, until it is thick, about triple in volume, and registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove bowl from pan. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Serve immediately or chill completely before serving. Serve with fresh berries, biscotti, or your favorite custard topping or add-in.

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Recipe adapted from one in a Publix Grape magazine.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @JuanitasCocina March 28, 2013 at 7:03 am

I need to use more egg whites so I can have more yolks for this! OMG!


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

Thanks Jen!


Anita at Hungry Couple March 28, 2013 at 8:35 am

I haven’t had zabaglione in a long time but it used to be my very favorite dessert to order in an Italian restaurant. I love that you added the fruit!


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

The blackberries were so great with the custard. I think fruit is the best thing to serve with it. They seem to enhance each other.


Simonaskitchen March 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Bravissima!! It means very very good chef! :-) zabajone is not so easy to be make, because it’s easy to cook too much eggs and the result is similar to a sweet scrambled egg! I use a deep sauce pan and hand whisp ( don’t know the translation for the kitchen tool!) and use it slowly. thanx, I always like to read Italian recipes on foreignr blogs!!! Greetings from Tuscany, Simo!


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

Thank you so much! Such a nice compliment.


Joan March 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Wow! That sounds good. I have to go use up some egg whites so I have an excuse to make this.

You asked for other ideas to use up egg yolks. First, did you know you can freeze them? Then, there are always Creme Brulee, and Hollandaise sauce.


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

Oh hollandaise! Now you have me craving a steak or eggs benedict…


Purabi Naha March 29, 2013 at 5:32 am

Bookmarked. Loved the flavours in this wonderful zabaglione. Too bad that I haven’t had thisfor years. Now I want to make this for sure!


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

Thanks Purabi! You should make it soon and enjoy it again.


Joan@Chocolateandmore March 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Renee, it’s been at least 20 years since I had Zabaglione, I think I need to find a reason to have some extra egg yolks. And soon.


Renee March 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

Oh Joan, 20 years is just way too long. I hope you make it soon.


Alison March 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

If I am really having a craving, or making something for a get together, I make zabaglione with the yolks and meringue with the whites, sprinkle berries over the cooked meringue, then add zabaglione at the last, you can even top with whipped cream if you really want to be decadent.


Renee April 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Now that’s a great way to add a little decadence to the custard. I’ll have to remember that.


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen April 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I make ice cream! And it turns out that zabaglione ice cream (with or without chocolate shavings) is one of my favorite flavors. It´s fantastic!
Here it was made a lot when I was young. So much that the recipe is: for every one yolk measure one half egg shell each of marsala and sugar.
One of the most common uses was as a sauce for floating island, so you used the whole eggs. I need to make some soon! I´m suddenly craving it so much Renee!


Renee April 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks Paula! I will have to try the floating island. And ice cream too. So many great uses for this custard.


Katherine G April 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

this looks so yummy. I would love to give it a try.


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