Gratin de Fruits au Marasquin

Fruit Gratin with Maraschino Liqueur


Fruit gratins are now as common in France as their vegetable-based ancestors. Typically fresh fruit is layered into individual dishes or arranged on plates covered with a foamy sabayon, and browned under the grill. A perfect gratin demands careful attention; the sabayon cannot be made in advance and the gratin must be watched to make sure it doesn't burn under the grill.

3 mangoes
6 figs
30 ml (2 tbsp) maraschino liqueur

2 egg yolks
60 g (2 oz) icing sugar
1OO ml (3.5 fl oz) dry white wine
30 ml (2 tbsp) maraschino liqueur

EQUIPMENT: 6 large, ovenproof plates

The chef about sabayon.

Peel and cut the mangoes into thin slices. Peel the figs and cut each lengthwise into 6 slices. Combine the fruit in a shallow container and sprinkle with the liqueur. Let the fruit macerate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Prepare the sabayon: bring 5-7.5 cm (2-3 inches) of water to simmering point in a large saucepan. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, wine and liqueur in a large, heatproof bowl and beat with a whisk or electric mixer until pale yellow and foamy. Set the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water) and continue beating until the mixture becomes thick and creamy and increases in volume and the whisk or beater leaves a clear trail on the bottom of the bowl. Test the temperature of the sabayon occasionally with a finger: if it feels hotter than just tepid - the temperature should not exceed 27 C (80 F) - remove from the heat and beat until slightly cooled. Then return to the heat and finish cooking.

To serve, preheat the grill. Arrange the mango slices in a fan shape in the centre of each of the 6 ovenproof plates. Surround with the fig sections. Cover the fruit with the sabayon and place under the grill for a few minutes until lightly browned. Watch carefully because the sabayon will colour quickly. Serve hot.

copyright (c) 1991 Le Cordon Blue