Zuppa Inglese

Say the words “Zuppa Inglese” to my siblings and immediately their thoughts will turn to Christmas. Consisting of liquor “enhanced” lady fingers swimming in a lemon-flavored custard, this “English Pudding” was as much a part of my family’s Christmas Dinner tradition as was the platter of ravioli and the roasted chestnuts. To be sure, this is a dessert intended for adults but Mom didn’t forget us kids. She, also, made a non-alcoholic version which you can find in Variations below. (Even so, Dad always managed to sneak us a taste of his dessert when Mom wasn’t looking.)

The recipe I’m sharing is a version Mom gave me that calls for only 12 egg yolks. Before you think, “Only 12 egg yolks!?!?!” understand that the original recipe, a copy of which I also have, calls for 36 egg yolks. That’s a whole lotta Zuppa Inglese! In fact, making a batch of custard that large became a team sport, so to speak, with Mom, Zia, and Nonna suiting up against 3 dozen taunting yolks gathered menacingly in the bottom of an enamel pan. You see, when making so much custard on top of the stove — without a double boiler, mind you — it must be given constant attention and stirred non-stop for about 45 minutes. Leave it for a minute, unattended, and you’ll return to a lumpy mess. So, the Ladies of the 2-flat banded together on Christmas Eve, each taking a 10 to 15 minute turn stirring the pot, while her teammates played Briscola. I remember them moving the kitchen table close to the stove so that the “stirrer” could sit on the table’s edge while the other 2 Ladies kept the card game going at the other end of the table. Sipping a glass of wine all the while, the 3 chatted, laughed, played, and stirred until all agreed that the custard was done.  A few minutes later and there was enough Zuppa Inglese, both with and without alcohol, to serve anyone seated at the Christmas Dinner table.

As always, there are a couple of things to consider when preparing this dish. First off, I cannot stress enough that the custard must be stirred constantly, especially if you do not have a double boiler. Failure to do so and you may find yourself buying more eggs when you should be wrapping presents. (No need to run out and buy a double boiler. Place a couple of inches of water in a saucepan over low to med-low heat. Put the ingredients in a bowl large enough to lay on top of the saucepan without falling in. The boiling water should never touch the bottom of the bowl.) Make sure to keep clean the sides and bottom of the bowl as you stir. You’ll know the custard is ready (20 – 25 minutes for 12 eggs; about 45 minutes for 36 eggs) when it is noticeably thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Custard aside, you can control how “spirited” you want your dessert to be. The recipe calls for equal parts whiskey, sweet vermouth, and grenadine. How much you use to “enhance” the lady fingers is your choice. Dip the lady fingers into a booze bath and you’ll have one very strong cocktail dessert. Use a pastry brush to “paint” the fingers and, depending on how thorough a painter you are, you may still have a pretty potent pudding. On the other hand, using your fingers to lightly sprinkle spirits across the lady fingers will result in a relatively zing-free zuppa. No matter which method you use, remember Italians waste nothing. So, use the left over liquor as the base of a nice cocktail, rewarding yourself for a job well-done.

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This is the last of only 2 edible servings of Zuppa Inglese from the entire batch. While this very photo was being arranged, Max was busy “sampling” the rest.

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Zuppa Inglese Recipe

yield:  one 9 x 9 x 2″ dish, filled with 3 layers of lady fingers in custard

Ingredients 

  • 12 egg yolks
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • lady fingers (thinly sliced pound cake may be substituted)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the lady fingers, in the top-half of a double boiler or in a mixing bowl as indicated above. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine.
  2. Place a couple of inches of water in the bottom-half of the boiler, reassemble the double boiler, and heat over a low to med-low heat.
  3. Stir constantly, making sure to scrape the bowl’s sides & bottom in the process.
  4. After 20 to 25 minutes, the custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and pour the custard through a sieve to remove any bits of zest.
  6. Ladle enough custard to coat the bottom of a serving dish. Place on layer of lady fingers into the dish and dress with as much liquor as you prefer.
  7. Repeat the process, at least twice. Make sure to reserve enough custard to apply a final coating of custard to “top off” the dish.
  8. Refrigerate, covered, for several hours or overnight.

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Variations

As noted earlier, Mom made a non-alcoholic dish of Zuppa Inglese for us kids and any adults who didn’t want to imbibe. To do so, she prepared a 2nd dish only this time she substituted grenadine for the spirits. Feel free to use some other flavoring, or nothing at all, to create an alcohol-free dessert for your table.

Up to this point, we’ve prepared the zuppa in a square baking dish. You can easily create a trifle, though depending on the size of the trifle dish, you may need to make a large batch (36 yolks) of custard. Just as was done in the baking dish, alternate layers of custard and “enhanced” lady fingers until near the top of the dish. Be sure to top-off the dish with a coating of custard. If you wish, you may encircle the stack with “treated” lady fingers that are standing on end, side by side, and pressed up against the trifle dish wall. And if you didn’t make enough custard or just want something a little different, you can alternate layers with one or 2 of whipping cream in place of the pudding. In fact, using whipping cream for the top-off will allow you to fill in any low spots that may result when the trifle settles. (Tip: Add a tbsp of (non-fat) powdered milk to the heavy cream as it is being whipped. The resulting whipped cream will have additional “staying power.”)

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Sorry, Mom!

Mom would be disappointed if she found out that I posted today’s recipe AFTER Christmas! Zuppa Inglese, after all, was her Christmas Dinner dessert. Well, in my defense, I had intended to publish it last week, in plenty of time for the holiday. Unfortunately, my small kitchen appliances had other plans and a couple of them balked at the slightest of tasks. (One is now gone and I repaired the other. A Christmas miracle, to be sure!) My to-do list was thrown upside-down and, unfortunately, today’s post “took the hit.” Rest assured. Zuppa Inglese is every bit as tasty on New Year’s Day or “Little Christmas,” as it is on December 25th.

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Zuppa Inglese

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86 thoughts on “Zuppa Inglese

    • Oh, I agree completely! And don’t forget the hundreds of calories burned while chewing the thick custard. Come to think of it, I should probably send Mom’s recipe to Weight Watchers. 🙂

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  1. Custard was part of my childhood but not as elegant or lively and no card playing happening. I can remember my mother stirring stirring and folding beaten egg whites in at the end. I also remember a baked custard in a huge enamel roasting pan water bath. I think of a skin on top with nutmeg sprinkled on it, sweet eggy cream under. I would like to try the smaller recipe for an appreciative group. Happy new year John

    And thinking of what mom would think I understand totally. My mother actually put ketchup in a little lidded dish in the shape of a tomato!! (as we pass the bottle around nowadays)

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    • I don’t recall Mom preparing other custards but she sure did a great job with this one. It was a favorite of Dad’s and of whatever guests seated at the Christmas Dinner table. I don’t make it often but, when I do, it is always very well received. I would love to find a dish like your Mom’s ketchup dish! This will be my Holy Grail for 2012!

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  2. Yum!! You may have missed posting this before Christmas, but you beat me to the punch!! You did a terrific job writing this up, way better than I would have. I could just picture your aunts in the kitchen, how I’d love to be a part of that group of ladies! I want to learn to play that card game. I printed off the details and am now on a mission to find those Italian cards! (I’m a huge card/ boardgame / whatever player!) I could eat zuppa inglese like ice cream, one lick at a time. I do prefer a bit “gentler” spirits tho as whiskey is a bit strong for me, but if you put a bowl of yours in front of me I would eat it all up!!

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    • I hope I didn’t steal your Zuppa thunder, Lynda, for I’d love to see your family’s recipe. As children, we all played both Briscola and Scopa but we used American-style playing cards. Our parents used the Italian cards. I would need quite a refresher course to play either game today, no matter what playing cards were used. And I agree with you: I could eat bowl after bowl of this dessert. It’s probably a good thing Mom only made it around the holidays. We would have all been huge!

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      • Hi John and Linda – just a quickie on the cards. We use them here in Spain and I have a drawer full of packs…if you let me know your addresses I will happily send some to you and then one day in the future we can all sit down and play Briscola together. Oh, and Scopa, that´s a good one too!

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        • First off, Tanya, that is a very kind thing to offer to do for us. The shipping costs, however, would be astronomical, just for a deck of cards. So, I checked Amazon and they have a number of decks available. Lynda, I can order a deck for you when I order mine or you can do a search of their site for “Italian playing cards” and you’ll have your choice of decks, all for around $5.00. So, thanks, Tanya for your generous offer and, Lynda, game’s on!

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      • Hey John, I too checked out Amazon after I posted my comment. There are several out their and I agree totally more cost effective to order directly so I thank you Tanya for being so kind. I was reading the reviews tho and the cards come with instructions in Italian!! But I found English instructions on the internet. Game on indeed…better start practicing John!!

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    • David, that custard is killer! With or without alcohol, the lemony custard is the dish’s star. It makes it hard to walk passed the fridge knowing there’s a Zuppa Inglese chillin’ in there.

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  3. I think this dish would be the perfect celebration dessert on New Year’s Eve. My husband is a lemon-y dessert addicted nut and I can’t wait to surprise him with this beauty. I would have trouble keeping my fingers out of the custard before it gets spread over the lady fingers though. Do you buy your lady fingers…not make them? We have a fabulous Italian market in town where I buy mine. Is that allowed? 😉

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    • This would make a wonderful NYE dish, Geni, especially if your husband loves lemon custard. I don’t recall Mom ever making her own lady fingers. In fact, one of the recipes suggests buying them from a local-to-Detroit bakery — that went out of business well over 20 years ago! I am sure that your Italian market’s lady fingers will be just fine. If you do make it, Geni, I hope you and your husband like it as much as we all do. Have a very Happy New Year!

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  4. I love Zuppa Inglese but really can´t remember the last time I ate the “real deal” – probably as a child in Italy. I had to be content with Zuppa Inglese flavoured ice cream on the beach. Where, incidentally, my parents and a big gang of Zias and Zios were all packed around trestle tables drinking wine and playing briscola!! Amazing recipe, I´ll go for the 36 egg version next time we entertain some of Big Man´s family…they´ll love it 🙂

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    • Funny you mentioned Zuppa Inglese flavored ice cream. While I was cleaning up after making this batch — OK, I was licking the spatula — I thought how great an ice cream would taste if it had this custard as its base. And I, too, have many memories of Sunday afternoons spent at a park where we kids ran wild as our parents played briscola on the picnic tables. I hope this recipe measures up to the one of your memories, Tanya, and that it’s well-received by “Big Man’s” family.

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    • You guys had the most amazing upbringing.. Wonderful.. Tanya when you do the thing with Big Man’s family can you invite me and chgjohn. But let me know about a year ahead so i have the Farmy in order (ie no imminent births) and lots of dollars under the mattress!! just sayin.. c

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    • Ah! Angel food cake! I didn’t think of that! I made a couple omelets and, luckily, saw a recent Molto Mario where he made a pasta from Abruzzo that used egg whites and a little water. It was a little different from what I’m accustomed but any homemade pasta is better than the best store-bought.

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  5. It’s been along time since I had this! What a treat! Both of my parents are not into the heavy cream desserts so the only time we get to have traditional Italian desserts are around the holidays visiting aunts and uncles.
    I too laughed when I read 36 egg yolks though in my case it would be a lot of egg white omlets for breakfast. Oh Well, the way I see it, everything in moderation!

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    • It had been a few years since I made this dessert, Lisa, but it sure was good to make it again! My Dad, like your parents, wasn’t a big fan of cream desserts, either. Mom made this every Christmas and sometimes at Easter if we had company for dinner. And I have no recollection of what the Ladies did with all of those egg yolks! I’m certain they wouldn’t dream of tossing ’em, so, what happened to them? I need to call Zia!

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    • Thank you, Roger. To be honest, I’m amazed how many of my childhood memories are food-based — and the same holds for other members of my family. These posts are jogging a few memories, that’s for sure. “Boudoir”, eh? I love the French!

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      • Mmmmmm this looks incredible! Lemon is one of my fatvrioe ingredients in any dessert recipe. This recipe is also great because it doesn’t call for much flour and so could easily be replaced with a gluten-free flour for those of us who can’t digest gluten. I will definitely give this one a try!

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  6. I made this once and yes, there was a lot of booze thrown in. The recipe I used called for half the custard to be vanilla flavoured and the other half chocolate. But I wasn’t using an authentically Italian cookbook. Lovely story – I could visualise the Christmas Eve preparations perfectly.

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    • Who knows? Your version may very well be authentic. I’m sure there’s more than one variation of Zuppa Inglese out there and, if so, why not one with chocolate? I have a snapshot in my mind of those 3 women laughing together as they made the custard. It’s a very special memory.

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    • Thank you, Claire. It wasn’t often but, when the 3 Ladies “united” to make custard or some other involved menu item, it was really special. We kids knew to stay out of their way as they chatted, laughed, and even sang as they worked. They were something else!

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  7. A wonderful 12 egg custard…and I love zuppa inglese, I have visions of seeing my Nonna by the wood stove stirring the large pot of custard, and even more closer in time my suocera who also insisted on cooking every thing on her wooden fire stove. I think this would have to be one of those ‘old’ country traditional recipes one my Sicilian Nonna taught me…I’ll have to share with you my updated mix…. chocolate and orange custard. A delicious recipe anytime of the year! x

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    • My hat’s off to your Nonna and Suocera for making custard atop a wood stove. Now that takes skill! Like me, it sounds like you’ve some wonderful memories of these 2 women in their kitchens. I do hope you share your recipe for the Zuppa Inglese with chocolate and orange custard. I bet it’s wonderful!

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  8. Now THIS could be a way to start off my New Year in a good or bad way, whichever way I want to start it. I’m glad Max didn’t have a hangover. I shudder to visualize him having opposable thumbs…drunk shopping on PetsMart.com

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  9. Ok that is it ! I am on my way! Daisy and I are packing up the old wagon (and do not laugh because there IS one in the old barn!,). I shall hitch Daisy up, (Mia has to come because she hates to be left behind), TonTon sits by me and we are on our way. ( Have I become Ma Clambert?) ! – woo hoo,..(or was it yee ha?) we are acoming for some of this Italian trifle thingy! esp if we can make it with pound cake! I will bring the eggs, the cake and the cream! and some really nasty wine for later.. Your Mama told my Mama it was OK! We are doing the 36 egg yolks! In for a penny in for a pound- cake.. woo hoo. Look out for us in about a week, Daisy insists on a very safe walking pace as there are no seat belts in an 1800’s farm wagon. It drives like a dray but it will be OK. It is not too cold.. I will call when it is time to put the kettle on! love love celi

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    • We’ll be waiting for you, Celi. Although, considering that she’s pregnant, do you think it wise to be driving Ms. Daisy? You might wish to consider making your own batch of Zuppa Inglese. And with your farm fresh eggs, I bet it would be unlike any custard either of us has ever had! Let me know what you decide and we’ll be ready either way. Tell TonTon Max says “Happy New Year!”

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      • Ok This is true, I have to say this was Daisy’s reaction too. Being an aristocratic cow! I shall start collecting the eggs and we ill make the little one.. I just have to work out how I can stir for 45 minutes without passing out from exhaustion! Not having a Nonna or Zia to take turns with!.. c

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        • If you make the small batch, 12 yolks, it should only take 20 to 25 minutes to make the custard. Now that ain’t so bad. The real question is whether Daisy can be good for 20 to 25 minutes so that you can stir the pot.

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  10. I love how your blog always reads like a mini-novel. Your stories just draw me in and take me back John. I love it. And I’m loving this dessert. It looks and sounds delicious!!!! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Kristy. These stories are as much a part of the recipes as any of the listed ingredients. When I sit with Zia and we talk about or sample one of them, our conversation invariably turns to some anecdote involving a family member and we share a good laugh. It’s pretty much impossible to separate the food from the tale. You guys should try this one. The non-alcoholic versions are every bit as good as the “spirited” form.

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  11. Another delightful post, John, full of family warmth and humor and yes, yummmmmy food. Late posting (and utterly understandably so) or no, it’s a beaut. It would also make a fine Breakfast of Champions, around me, since I wouldn’t be able to resist until any later with that lying in wait and what’s perfect breakfast if not custard! Even better if it’s “medicinal”, right? Surely a healthy dram ought to cure and/or prevent any sort of ill. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Kathryn, and you’ve hit upon the worst part of Max’s pilfering. All the while I was stirring that custard, assembling the dish, arranging the photo setting, I was dreaming of Zuppa Inglese breaks. A bit in the morning. A slice in the late afternoon. Perhaps a tad more before bedtime. And in a flash, Max and that frog-like tongue of his ruined it all. And he doesn’t even like vermouth.

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  12. First thing I thought when I read 36 egg yolks is what the heck did you make with all the egg whites – I see elaborate meringues and the like.
    AWESOME recipe – will definitely tackle the 12 egg yolks – delicious!
    Oh, we traditionally dip our lady fingers in sherry.
    Have a Happy New Year John.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • Thanks, Mandy, both for your comments and the suggestion about dipping the lady fingers in sherry. I bet that would work beautifully! I hope you and yours have a very Happy New Year, Mandy!

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  13. I really love that it took a village to concoct a Zuppa Inglese as you were growing up! I read things like this John and suddenly feel as though I had a terribly deprived childhood. How rich! How Lucky! And how lucky us that we get to re-live it with you. Love the sounds of this lemony liquor-laced treat! Thanks so much for sharing like you do. We’re all lifted by it! 🙂

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    • What a lovely comment to leave! Funny, when growing up, I thought how nice it would be to live in our own home, not realizing how special that 2 flat was. Now, of course, I have a much better perspective and wouldn’t trade those years for anything! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for being so encouraging. Have a great New Year!

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  14. Wow…another wonderful memory and the recipe to match! What DID the Ladies do with the whites, if you remember?
    My grandmother always had an angelfood cake or two in her deep-freeze (that’s Southern for ‘chest freezer’). it never occured to me until after she was gone to wonder what she did with all the yolks. My father has no idea, of course…
    Happy New Year, John!

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    • Thank you! I’ve promised myself to ask Zia if she recalls what they did with the egg whites. I know nothing about them, all of my attention, at the time, was transfixed on the tree and the gifts under it. I hope you, too, and all you hold dear, have a great new year!

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  15. Oh, I’ll take the cake with the alcohol! This is an incredible recipe, and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted or made. Great story, and I think you’d be forgiven for posting after Christmas. 🙂

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    • It’s a great recipe, Caroline, and one that you would easily master. I’m sure you’ve made custard on the stovetop so this would be a breeze. Yeah, Mom wouldn’t mind too much, especially when she read how kind you all are to her son and how well-received her recipe is. 🙂

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  16. I haven’t had zuppa inglese in years. I love it but have never made it myself. Thank you for your wonderful story and recipe. I too am curious what was made with all the egg whites. Maybe that is a recipe yet to come.

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    • I cannot speak for Mom & Zia all those years ago, although I will ask my Aunt when I next speak with her. When I made this batch, I made a couple omelets and some pasta, in a style that Mario Batali said comes from Abruzzo. But, that was only 12 whites. I cannot image having 36 whites to deal with.

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    • Yes, Eva, that yellow is all yolk and isn’t photoshopped. And you’re right about the “bad dog.” I had only left him alone in the kitchen for less than a minute when I realized I forgot my camera. As I entered, he ran for his crate — ALWAYS a bad sign. Sure enough, he had licked the custard from atop the lady fingers. I am glad that he didn’t get into the liquored lady fingers but that’s hardly consolation. All this means is that I’ll have to make another batch. Darn! 😉

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    • My pleasure, Jed, although I’m having a hard time accepting the idea of the Bartolini kitchens being a marital aid. (That should give the old blog’s VIEWS stat a shot in the arm for the end of the year!) I bet if you made and tasted the custard, you’d come up with some great alternatives for “enhancing” the lady fingers. If you ever do, please let us know what you’ve come up with.

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  17. I thought I’d tasted Zuppa Inglese until I read this post. I’ve made trifles and tiramisu with ladyfingers and always used the soft squishy ones, but have lately been seeing these “Italian” ladyfingers in the market that are hard. This is made with the soft ones, yes? That lemony custard is calling to me, and of course I’d have to have the alcohol drizzled or dunked version with whisky, or sherry, even Grand Marnier, perhaps?…it all sounds divine! I love the image of your mom, Zia and Nonna taking turns stirring the custard while playing cards…it’s wonderful…like being in the kitchen with them.

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    • I don’t recall Mom using anything but soft lady fingers and that’s all I’ve used, as well. I think that any liqueur you use that goes well with the custard would do just fine. The custard is the star of the dish and the alcohol its zing. And, yes, remembering the 3 of them cooking is a very special memory for me. 🙂

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  18. Oh… your pup reminds me of the time I left a large pavlova to dry on the bottom shelf in our dining room.. yup, it was pretty mangled by the time we found it:) My mother-in-law always makes trifle.. for Christmas. My niece was going to bake a pie and she took her aside and not so gently suggested she not bother to make another dessert (don’t want to steal the thunder from the trifle!). Hers is (shhh) not so rich as this, I love the rich golden color of those yolks, the lemon zest… and would love to try it with alcohol (also not added in her recipe). Nanna buys trifle as well and throws jello between the layers. Yours looks to be the most authentic recipe yet. What is that card game called… your story transported me back in time, I could just visualize the gals dressed in clothes from the past… pots being stirred and much laughter!! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!! xo Smidge

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    • My family’s dogs have “sampled” a number of our meals, although Max is the undisputed King of the Snatchers. From raw ravioli to food cooking on the stovetop to an Easter ham, Max has dared to snatch where no dog has snatched before.

      I’m sure there are many recipes for Zuppa Inglese but I’m just not familiar with them. Mom only made this one and I don’t recall anyone else ever making or serving the adults a different recipe.

      The card game was briscola and we all played it back then, even as kids. I’d need a serious refresher course to try to play it now. For my family members, though, mentioning that card game is sure to trigger a response, as sure as will the mention of Zuppa Inglese.

      Here’s wishing you, Smidge, and all whom you hold dear, every Happiness in the New Year!

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  19. Now we’re talking! I’m vegetarian, not vegan! All those egg yolks don’t scare me off–at least not once a year. I really think this sounds fantastic, but I may have to try it a few times to get the feel of the custard. I’ll be eager to try. As always, I can just picture your mom-aunts-grandmother carefully stirring the pot. What a delightful memory. And personally, I like any dessert that options out as a cocktail 🙂 Debra

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    • If you use a double-boiler — or a bowl over a saucepan — this isn’t that difficult to do, especially if you’re doing the 12 yolk-sized batch. Just make sure you can give it your undivided attention for some 20 to 25 minutes. I’ve had to throw out more than 1 batch and start over. And if you think using up 12 egg whites is tough, try 24 or 36 MORE whites to deal with! GIve this one a try, Debra. I’m sure you’ll like it!

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    • Welcome, Lauren! Isn’t Tanya’s Chica Andaluza blog great? It’s a daily “must-read” for me. Whenever Mom served this dish, it was always well-received, so, I hope your in-laws will like it, too. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Have a great New Year!

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    • Thank you. This is one of those dishes that, to my siblings and I, will forever mean “Christmas”. It was a real treat making it this year for the blog entry and I think I’ll be doing it yearly again. If you’re ever in Chicago over the Christmas holiday, you are hereby cordially invited to drop in for a dish of Zuppa Inglese!

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  20. Pingback: Linguine with Seafood in Parchment | from the Bartolini kitchens

  21. That version with 36 yolks must have been something to see! I don’t believe I’ve ever had this dish before (and certainly have never made it). I gotta try this! Thanks.

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    • Remembering those 3 women making this dessert is one of my fondest memories from my youth. The 3 of them laughed, joked, and literally stirred the pot, sipping wine the whole time. And we all shared a fantastic dessert after our Christmas dinner. For me, this recipe is a very special one. Thanks for taking a peek at it, John.

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    • Thank you, Chef Amy. I don’t think Limoncello would “hurt” at all. Just bear in mind that the custard has a lemon flavor, too. I hope you do try it and like it as much as my family does. Happy New Year!

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  22. I had to follow the link from the seafood dish to this, John, and I’m so glad I did. What a truly fantastic story about the women in your family sharing stirring duty while playing cards and having a glass or two! I would give anything to have been raised in that kind of environment, so deeply about food and spending time together, turning work into fun. And the resulting dish sounds decadent in the extreme – yum!

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Those memories of the 3 of them working together in the kitchen are among my favorites. It was truly something to see. Of course, it wasn’t until many years later that I realized just how special it all was. At least I finally did come to the realization. 🙂

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  23. Didn’t have a nonna to pass this recipe down to me, but I had an Italian school friend whose mother made Zuppe Englese decades before someone created a fancier version called Tiramisu. She soaked the lady fingers in wine and layered them with chocolate and vanilla custard. Thanks for reviving my memories.

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    • Wow! I bet her Zuppa Englese was fantastic! Love the idea of using chocolate custard, too. One of the best things about this blog is how these posts remind readers of people or foods in their past. Thank you for taking the time to add your memories to the “collection.” 🙂

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