Gratin of Red Fruits with Champagne Sabayon

This is a spectacular, luscious dessert that we used to see only in the fanciest French restaurants. If you have a little patience, it’s not hard to do at home.

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1/4 pint blueberries
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec liqueur
  • 6 oz. whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Champagne
  • Powdered sugar

1. Wash and dry the fruit and sprinkle it with half the sugar and the liqueur. Leave for an hour or so.

2. Transfer the fruit to a shallow, heatproof dish.

3. Beat the cream until soft peaks form.

4. To make the sabayon, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar together in a bowl to the consistency of thick cream. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, whisking while gradually adding the champagne. Go on whisking until the mixture doubles in bulk and is thick and fluffy. Remove from heat and let it cool to lukewarm.

5. Fold the whipped cream into the sabayon and spread it over the fruit. Sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar and put under a medium hot broiler until the sabayon is glazed golden–about a minute. Watch carefully to see that it does not burn. Serve at once.

Serves four to six.

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