A classic Italian panzanella (bread salad) combines juicy tomatoes and bread cubes. Here, Chris Cosentino swaps in stone fruits like apricots and peaches for the tomatoes. Then he pushes the dessert over the top by dolloping the "salad" with an airy zabaglione, a frothy sauce of egg yolks whipped with sweet dessert wine.
More Fruit Desserts
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 3/4-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1-inch
cubes (about 10 cups)
4 pounds mixed stone fruits, such as peaches, apricots and plums, each pitted
and cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Moscato d'Asti
8 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the hot water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and stir to combine.
Arrange the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the bread cubes with the sugar-syrup-and-olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Bake until the bread cubes are crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of Moscato. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Set the bowl with the eggs over a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water (you can also use a double boiler).
Remove the zabaglione from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully set the bowl in the ice bath and whisk the zabaglione until chilled, about 5 minutes.
To serve, add the bread cubes and mint to the fruit in the bowl and toss well. Transfer the panzanella to shallow bowls, top each one with a large dollop of zabaglione and serve right away.
The zabaglione can be refrigerated, covered, overnight. Whisk well before serving.
Moscato d'Asti has several virtues as a summer dessert wineit's light in alcohol (typically around six percent), its flavors suggest sun-ripened peaches and tangerines, and it's especially delicious when served lightly chilled. Those characteristics also make it a great partner for this dessert.
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