YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

You Asked About . . . .

Zabaglione May Be Answer to Missing Recipe

July 31, 1986|JOAN DRAKE | Times Staff Writer

Question: I know I'm not spelling it correctly, but I loaned and lost a recipe for zambeone-- a custard-like dessert using plain gelatin that is usually served with fresh fruit. I've looked in all my cookbooks, files, asked everyone I know and written letters. Please help.

Answer: Perhaps you mean zabaglione (sometimes spelled sabayon ) , although the classic recipe doesn't use gelatin. The fluffy wine custard is of Italian origin and made by beating eggs, sugar and Marsala wine over simmering water. It may be served hot or cold, alone or as a dessert sauce over peaches or strawberries.

This recipe from "The New Doubleday Cookbook" by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna (Doubleday & Co., 1985: $16.95) is typical.


6 egg yolks

2/3 cup superfine sugar

Dash salt

2/3 cup Marsala wine

Beat egg yolks in top of double boiler with rotary or electric beater until cream colored. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating hard after each addition. Beat in salt and Marsala.

Set over simmering water and beat constantly with wire whisk until thick and foamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Set top of double boiler on damp cloth on counter and continue beating 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or cool further, continuing to beat so mixture does not separate. Makes 6 servings.

Q: For about a year now I've been trying sourdough bread recipes from various sources. None seems to have the chewy, truly sour flavor and texture of those from San Francisco or Schatts Bakery in Bishop. I've done half a dozen different starters and while they are usually very good, still something seems to be missing. Can you help me out?

A: One thing that might be missing is aging--the older the starter, the more tangy the flavor according to Rita Davenport, author of "Sourdough Cookery" (HP Books, 1981). Most sources recommend using young sourdough starter for pancakes and waffles and waiting until it ages to make breads.

The late James Beard in his book "Beard on Bread" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1974) claims that starter can react differently from one location to another. He even found variations in its performance from one neighborhood of New York to another.

To develop a chewy, glossy crust, the book "Breads" by Sunset (Lane Publishing Co., 1984) combines and heats one teaspoon cornstarch and half a cup water to boiling. After cooling slightly, brush the mixture on the bread right before it goes into the oven and again after about 10 minutes of baking. Another technique is to place a rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack, under the bread, and fill it to a depth of a quarter-inch with boiling water. This creates steam for crustiness.

Q: I am interested in finding out the food value and caloric content of Imo, a imitation sour cream product.

A: Rod's Food Products, manufacturer of Imo, informed us that one tablespoon of its product contains 30 calories, three grams fat, 15 milligrams sodium and 30 milligrams potassium. It contains no cholesterol.

Q: Recently you printed a recipe for vegetable macaroni and cheese casserole that called for a can of cream of onion soup. I have been to four major supermarkets and not one of them has this product. Please tell me where I can find it.

A: We were not aware that cream of onion soup was so difficult to find. The soup is made by Campbell's and is available at Hughes and some other smaller markets in the Southland. Although the taste would be changed slightly, cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup may be substituted in the recipe, if desired. If you do substitute, for better flavor add a chopped medium onion to the recipe and saute it with the broccoli.

Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About . . ., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.

Los Angeles Times Articles