Updated Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
Total Time: 50 minutes
Hands On Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Like the classic French sabayon sauce, this custard is made with egg yolks, sugar, and a boozy liquid (in our case, a mix of apple cider or juice and rum or Madeira). Rather than beating the custard into frothy peaks, however, we stir this custard over gentle heat until it thickens, and then broil it quickly in the oven. You end up with a wonderfully creamy sauce over tender slices of sweet-tart fruit: a lovely study in contrasts.
Butter four ramekins and set aside.
Start the sauce: In a 1- to 2-quart pot over medium-high heat, combine the apple cider (or juice), rum (or Madeira), lime zest, and lemongrass. Bring to a simmer; then remove from the heat and let it infuse 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the fruit: In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. When melted, add the nectarine slices and sprinkle with the sugar and lime zest. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes; then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Back to the sauce: In the bowl of a double-boiler (off the heat), beat the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until the sugar is partly dissolved. Strain the cider/rum mixture into the egg mixture, discarding the solids, and set over simmering water. Stir the mixture continuously, until it thickens and gels, easily coating the back of a spoon, 7 to 12 minutes. If the eggs appear to curdle, remove the mixture from the heat and keep whisking.
Preheat your broiler. Arrange the nectarine slices in the prepared ramekins, and divide the sauce on top. Place the ramekins under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the custard begins to brown.
Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.
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