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A great dish has, of course, great flavor. But also interesting texture and smell and even a look. Presentation of a dish can make an enormous difference in its appreciation.

This recipe is a clever idea using oranges for both flavor and presentation. Zabaglione is one of those “exotic” desserts that most people order, but think of making at home. It is actually easy to prepare and should be a staple of your home recipes. And now, with this presentation idea, you can have great flavor and a thrilling look on your table.

Zabaglione can be served cold or hot. It’s a yin-yang thing. Outside now, it is below freezing, so this zabaglione was served warm right out of the pan.


Orange Zabaglione in Orange Cups

Yield: serves 6


  • 6 medium navel oranges
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup Grand Marnier [or other fine orange liqueur]
  • ½ cup Marsala
  • Optional garnish elements: candied violets, orange sections, candied ginger, …



Cut a slice off the bottom of each orange so that it will stand upright on a plate. Then cut off the top third of each orange and scrape out all the pulp. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together into the top of a double boiler until thick, then place the pan over simmering water. Add the grand Marnier and Marsala. Beat until the mixture thickens and coast the back of a spoon.

Spoon into the orange shells, and serve either hot or cold. Garnish if desired.

If served cold, the dessert can be prepared a day in advance. If a lighter taste is desired, some orange juice can be substituted for some of the liqueurs.


Source: adapted from Southwest Tastes by Ellen Brown