Friday, April 18, 2008

Oranges with Rosemary Sabayon

If you’re looking for a whisper-light dessert, this is the one for you. Maybe you’re serving a heavy meal or maybe it’s the last of many courses. Or maybe you’re not partial to rich desserts. Maybe you just want to be reminded of how perfect the simplest expressions of nature can be. Oranges with Rosemary Sabayon is a mere hint of a dessert that is very likely to remind you of a lovely little dinner al fresco on the shores of the Mediterranean.

I love anything with citrus. I also love the scent of rosemary. One of the greatest moments of aromatherapy in a kitchen is savoring the fragrance of rosemary while chopping its sturdy leaves. Just fantastic. So I thought I’d pair the citrus fruit with some silky sabayon that has been infused with this terrific herb. It’s an unusual combination that blossoms into a wonderful complexity using just a few very simple ingredients. Celebrate Spring with this very easy, clean, simple and soft burst of flavor.

Bench notes:

- I’ve written about Sabayon in a previous post. It’s an amazingly easy and lovely dessert sauce.
- I used a Nobilo 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which was perfect. It has lots of citrus notes to bridge the rosemary, so I recommend you try to find a similar style.
- I tossed in a couple of grapefruit sections for color. Not as perfect a match as the orange, but still good. I also garnished with a tiny bit of minced pistachio.
- The Rosemary Sabayon would also be great with blackberries or figs. Yes, perfect with figs!
- Although you only need 3 T of Rosemary Syrup, the recipe makes over a cup. You can reduce the recipe if you don’t think you’ll use it, but it’s great in oatmeal, as a flavoring for whipped cream or perhaps in a margarita or other cocktail.

Oranges with Rosemary Sabayon
Serves 4

4 navel oranges
4 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C Sauvignon Blanc
3 T rosemary syrup (recipe below)
minced pistachio for garnish (optional)

Slice the peel off of the oranges, being careful to remove all of the bitter white pith. Section out the orange slices and set aside on a paper towel to drain.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, wine and rosemary syrup in a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Check periodically to see that the water is not boiling. Whisk constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, including the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cook until the mixture is thickened and expanded in volume. If you have a thermometer, you’re shooting for about 160 degrees. Remove from heat and continue whisking for a bit. Set aside to cool.

Plate some orange sections and top with a luscious dollop of the Sabayon. Garnish with just a bit of pistachio if you choose. Serve immediately.

Rosemary Syrup

1 C water
1 C sugar
3 – 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Turn down the heat and add rosemary sprigs. Simmer about a minute or so. Cover and remove from heat and let steep. Taste it periodically to decide on the strength you prefer. I let mine sit for the afternoon.

Strain and store in the refrigerator in a clean, airtight container.


Katie B. said...

So fresh and dainty! I think your flavor pairing is really interesting - I can't wait to try to replicate this at home!

Anonymous said...

The figs come into season around here I'm going in! Actually I think I'll give the citrus one a try to.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

beautiful gayle! i had grapefruit with sabayon in the menu too and it was just lovely. simple, refreshing, elegant. a great way to end a meal. love it! said...

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