Berry Gratin and Zabaglione for Two

March 14, 2011

After a hectic week, filled with schedule changes and crazy huge life decisions, I am back to normal blog programming! I didn’t think I would take to blogging because it means you have obligations to deadlines (well, self imposed deadlines anyway), but it turns out I enjoy the structure, and it screws with me when circumstances don’t allow time in the kitchen. I guess it’s the same ol’ story with most bloggers and a little scary that we find comfort in habit and a normalized schedule, but it’s an interesting lesson to learn firsthand.

Starting off the week, I present something very little like a baked good, but still delicious and sweet. I love that this berry gratin can be prepared in such a short amount of time with minimal ingredients, and how it is perfect for dessert after a big, perhaps elaborate, meal. How could someone refuse dessert when it consists of fresh berries, slightly wine-y cream with a foreign name, and caramelized sugar to top it all off? Excepting those with allergies, dietary restrictions, etc, I’d like to see ‘em try to say “no”.

Berry Gratin with Zabaglione

(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2010)


1 ½ cups fresh berries (Either a mixture of red berries or just one type; I used 1 ½ cups quartered and hulled strawberries)

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Pinch of salt


1 egg yolk

3 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon white wine

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled



1. In a medium bowl, toss berries with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and pinch of salt. Divide berry mixture between two individual gratin dishes (ideally) or in the bottom of a broiler safe pie plate. Set aside.

2. In a glass bowl, whisk egg yolk, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and white wine until sugar granules are dissolved.

3. Set glass bowl over simmering water in a small saucepan (effectively creating a mini double boiler), making sure water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk constantly until mixture is frothy and continue to cook, still whisking constantly, until thickened slightly and forms loose mounds when dropped from whisk, between 5 and 10 minutes.

4. Remove bowl from heat once loose mounds form and whisk for 30 seconds to cool mixture. Place in fridge to chill for another 10 minutes, until mixture is completely cool.

5. Position an oven rack 6 inches from broiler. Preheat broiler if necessary (my oven needs a few minutes to kick into gear).

6. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Set aside.

7. In a medium bowl, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Remove yolk mixture from fridge once cooled and gently fold in whipped cream, folding until there are no streaks.

8. Spoon cream over fruit, then sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over cream and fruit. Let sit for 10 minutes, so the cream can absorb some of the sugar.

9. Place gratin dishes or pie plate on a baking sugar, and place under broiler for 2 to 4 minutes, until sugar is bubbly and looks caramelized.

This dish should be served immediately, and does not store very well.

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