Zabaione is an egg custard flavored with white wine. It’s rumored to have been created for the House of Medici in Florence. There is a saying that pears and Gorgonzola make a peasant into a king, even if only during eating. It’s no wonder this is one of my favorite combinations. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy this delicacy. It can be maddening waiting for pears to hit peak ripeness, but by poaching the pears, you’re able to turn a not-quite-ripe pear into something wonderful (save the leftover poaching liquid to poach more pears or spoon over ice cream). The sweet Moscato mixes with ginger, vanilla, and anise to impart a subtle yet complex flavor. Gorgonzola Dolce is the crowning touch, creamy with a salty, mild blue flavor. Garnish with two Macrina Walnut Anise Wafers for a royal treat!
- Serves 4
- 2-3/4 cup Barefoot Pink Moscato wine, divided (or another inexpensive sweet Moscato)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon ground anise
- 2 Bartlett or D’Anjou pears
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce
- 1 package Macrina Walnut Anise Wafers (sold in our cafés)
In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of Moscato wine, 1/4 cup sugar, ginger, vanilla and ground anise seed. Warm to a simmer.
Cut each pear in half, peel and core, preserving the half-moon shape. Place the pear halves in the warm wine mixture and gently poach for 25 to 30 minutes. Pour pears and poaching liquid into a small mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream to medium-firm peaks and chill until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, remaining 3/4 cup wine and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. To gently cook the yolk mixture, create a steam bath by placing the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1” of hot water. Whisk for 3 to 6 minutes over medium heat. The mixture will become frothy as the egg yolks begin to cook, creating an airy custard. When the mixture holds a streak from the whisk, remove the bowl from the water bath. Whisk for another minute to cool the custard slightly. Let the custard rest until close to room temperature. Once it has cooled (you can’t add the cream when it’s hot), gently fold in the whipped cream in three additions. If serving within the hour leave at room temperature, otherwise cover and chill until needed.
Spoon the zabaione onto a shallow soup plate, fan a poached pear half over it, dot the pear with a quarter of the Gorgonzola and serve with two Walnut Anise Wafers. Enjoy!
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