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Madeira syllabub

Syllabubs and fools are among the simplest, best and most characteristically English desserts. Both are versatile; to make syllabub, you could use just about any white or fortified wine; Madeira is particularly good. Six individual syllabubs.

Madeira-glass.jpg-2 cups heavy cream
-½ cup Sercial Madeira
-a little sugar
-3 egg whites
-grated zest of a lemon

  1. Whisk the Madeira and sugar into the cream and whip it until the liquids marry.
  2. Add the whites and zest and whip the syllabub until it begins to form peaks.
  3. Divide the syllabub into six pretty glasses and chill for at least four hours before serving.

- As inferred in the introduction to the recipe, you can substitute other wines for the Madiera. Dry wines--crisp whites or fino Sherry, for instance--are not a good idea, but otherwise anything goes. Madeira, however, is our favorite.

- Buy good eggs to reduce any risk of salmonella. If you are reluctant to use raw eggs, omit them. The syllabub will be runnier, but no less traditional or good.