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2000s Recipes + Menus

Lemon Sabayon with Grapefruit

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:30 min
November 2008
This remarkable sabayon, made with egg yolks left over from Spiced-Pumpkin Soufflés with Bourbon Molasses Sauce, tastes like a very lush and airy lemon curd. Pairing it with juicy segments of grapefruit creates a delightful call and response between the two citruses and their varying decibels of sweetness and tart zing. (The sabayon also pairs well with oranges or berries.) Though it is traditional to serve sabayon still warm—from the simmering water over which it is whisked—this version also tastes delicious chilled.
  • 3 grapefruits
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in half
  • Cut peel, including all white pith, from grapefruits with a sharp knife. Cut segments free from membranes and divide among 6 bowls.
  • Whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and sugar in a metal bowl until combined well, 1 to 2 minutes. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until foamy, about 2 minutes. Add one third of lemon juice and whisk until thickened, about 1 minute. Add half of remaining lemon juice and whisk until thickened, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining lemon juice. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, 7 to 8 minutes more. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated. Cool slightly.
  • Spoon warm sabayon over grapefruit segments. Serve remaining sabayon on the side.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Sabayon can be chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day. Serve cold.
  • Sabayon can be beaten with an electric mixer instead of a whisk; it will take about 2 minutes less.