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Another fantastic food memory from our trip to the south of France in 1997, is a decadent dessert we were served upon our arrival at La Pitchoune by the proprietor, Kathie Alex. (pictured below with me in Julia’s kitchen – check out the outlined pegboard) The dessert was a Roger Vergé’s Gratin of Raspberries with Sabayon. Just to put it over the top, Kathie served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side! You can too if you must.

Sabayon is a French sauce, but the Italians know it as Zabaglione sauce. It can be made in both a sweet or savory variation. Traditionally, sabayon is made with Marsala wine, but any spirit such as rum, brandy, triple sec, or cognac may be substituted. Kathie’s version used a raspberry l’eau de vie, such as Chambord. It was lovely, but a bit strong for my taste, so I’m using Grand Marnier. When raspberries are hard to find, use any fruit you please, a mix of sliced strawberries and orange segments would be perfect. Don’t these gorgeous fruits at the French market just make your mouth water?!

Individual Raspberry Gratins with Orange Sabayon

8 large yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, divided
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
12 ounces fresh raspberries, divided
1/2 cup sliced almonds

First, half fill a large bowl with water and ice and set aside.  Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water.  Set up a double boiler by placing a medium metal bowl over the water in the pan and make sure that the bowl is not touching the hot water below in the saucepan. Remove the bowl and bring the water to a boil.

In the room temperature metal bowl, off the heat, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier until well combined.  Turn the heat down to medium-high and place the bowl on top of the saucepan, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes or more as needed to cook the sauce, until it has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. The sabayon should never get so hot that you can’t stick a clean finger in it. It will become thick, foamy, and tripled in volume. Continue to whisk until the sabayon is very pale and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Turn off the heat and cook, whisking, for 1 minute more, and then carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler and set it into the larger bowl that you have set aside that is half-filled with ice water. Continue to whip until the sabayon is completely cool and ribbons form as it falls from the whisk. You may do this by hand or switch to a hand-held electric mixer. (the sabayon may be covered and chilled at this point for no more than 90 minutes) Preheat the broiler to high. Set aside 18 of the raspberries for garnish.

Divide the remaining raspberries between 6 small bakers or ramekins. Divided the sabayon evenly between the dishes. Sprinkle with the almonds and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining Grand Marnier over the top of each dish. Place the dishes on a baking sheet and place them under the preheated broiler until nicely browned, watching closely so as not to burn. Remove from oven and garnish each dish with 3 raspberries, serve immediately.

Serves 6

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1 Marissa { 10.11.10 at 11:05 PM }

Way to make me miss France even more. I want to go back to the markets!

2 Linda Hopkins { 10.12.10 at 10:32 AM }

Sorry darling girl, there is another French market picture today and surely more to come as the month of French memories goes on. xoxo

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