Plum-and-Honey Sabayon Gratins

This stunning plum-studded sabayon—an airy custard sweetened with clover honey and Moscato—is summer's answer to crème brûlée. If you don't have Moscato on hand, any honey-inflected dessert wine will do, such as Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise or a late-harvest Riesling.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons clover honey
  • 5 large plums (1 1/2 pounds), quartered and pitted
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup Moscato d'Asti or other dessert wine

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the broiler. In a large skillet, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the honey over moderately high heat until foaming. Add the plums and cook, turning occasionally, until softened and the honey has thickened slightly, about 6 minutes. Scrape the plums and their juices onto a plate.

  2. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, Moscato and the remaining 1/4 cup of honey until the mixture is thick and pale yellow, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk the sabayon until cooled slightly, about 1 minute.

  3. Scrape the sabayon into four 8-ounce gratin dishes. Top with the plums and their juices. Transfer to a baking sheet. Broil 3 inches from the heat for about 1 minute, until the sabayon is golden, and serve.

Suggested Pairing

The difference between Moscato d'Asti and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise—both of which are light, golden dessert wines that will pair beautifully with these fluffy gratins—is one of style: They're both made from Muscat grapes, though the Italian Moscato d'Asti is lightly sparkling while the Beaumes-de-Venise is still and higher in alcohol. Both have lovely floral aromas and flavors that recall honey and peaches.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published August 2008

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