In my quest to find a dessert suitable enough to make for Jeannie’s (our managing editor who also happens to be a chef) birthday on Tuesday, I ran across this recipe for Single Malt Scotch Sabayon in Alice Medrich’s Pure Desserts cookbook that came out in 2007. She, by the way, is a goddess of epic proportions when it comes to dessert cookbooks. She is meticulous about her recipe testing and offers a very detailed analysis for why and how the recipes are comported. She is knowledgeable, thorough and just a mite bit intimidating for a home cook like me, but I endeavor anyway.
She also happens to be a very nice person. I had the pleasure of meeting her when we did a photo shoot to accompany a story that we did on her. Yes, folks, I tucked her clothes, adjusted her jewelry and generally manhandled her body for a beautiful photo. And let me tell you, she’s a pro. She came to the shoot fully prepared, which made photographing her a real delight.
Anyway, what drew me to this recipe is the combination of two things that I adore: single malt scotch and strawberries.
The other great things about this recipe are that it requires very few ingredients, is pretty easy to execute and really packs a flavorful punch.
Strawberries with Single-Malt Sabayon from Pure Desserts by Alice Medrich.
Cast of characters:
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
1/3 cup single-malt scotch (choose one that is honeyed, sherried or has floral characters)
2 pints ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled, sliced
single-malt scotch to splash the berries (optional)
sugar to taste
In a medium stainless steel bowl whisk the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the wine and scotch. Put the bowl in a wide skillet with an inch of cool water in it, set the skillet over medium heat, and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes foamy and thick. Continue until sauce becomes hot (160 degrees) and a ribbon of sauce hold a gentle shape as it falls back on itself. Serve immediately, or refrigerate covered for up to a day and serve chilled.
Place your strawberries in a bowl, splash with scotch and sprinkle a pinch of sugar. Then pour the sabayon sauce on top.
PS—I also made Honey Caramels based upon the recipe in Pure Desserts, but that’s for another post.