Riding on the coattails of summer are zest and freshness: not just in the weather, but in the kitchen, too. Whether you are looking for a quirky addition to your Christmas table, or something sweet to enjoy while you bask in the balmy goodness of Simbithi, this dish will do the trick. Chef Betty Dube shares the recipe for her Pineapple Sabayon, a new addition to the recently relaunched menu at the Fig Tree Restaurant.


For the Pineapple

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cloves

For the Sabayon

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar OR
  • 1 tbsp sweet white wine

To serve

  • Vanilla ice-cream
  • Maraschino cherries


  1. Peel and core the pineapple and cut into thick-ish slices, about 1.5 to 2cm each.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and spices.
  3. Place the syrup over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Once the sugar is dissolved, bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Add the pineapple slices to the syrup and simmer gently until the pineapple is tender. This should take between five and seven minutes.
  6. Once the pineapple is tender, put it to the side (you can leave it in the syrup until needed).
  7. Now, begin with the sabayon: Fill a medium sized pot to ¼ with water.
  8. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  9. In a large, heat proof mixing bowl (one that will sit comfortably on top of the pot with boiling water) add the whole egg, the granulated white sugar and vinegar/wine.
  10. Now the hard work starts…
  11. You must whisk vigorously and continuously for about 10 to 12 minutes. The more you can aerate the egg mixture, the better. Your goal here is to aerate and cook the egg mixture.
  12. Once the egg mixture is light coloured and very frothy – like foam, it is ready to use. You can test whether the egg mixture is ready by:
    1. Touching a bit of the mixture to your lip. It must feel hot but not burn your lips. Or,
    2. If you dangle the whisk over the mixture and let the mixture that is on the whisk drizzle down, it must form a ribbon on the surface of the egg mixture that will hold for at least five seconds. If the mixture seems ‘dry’ you can add a bit more wine or even water. A tablespoon should be more than sufficient.

Plate Up!

As this dessert is sauce-based, it is best to serve it in a bowl.

Place a pool of the sabayon in the bottom of the bowl, then arrange the cooked pineapple rings in a stack, in the centre of the bowl. Pour over more of the sabayon. Serve with ice-cream and decorate with Maraschino cherries.

As an extra touch, you can brûlée the dessert if you have a torch.