We have been doing a lot of entertaining recently, and when it comes to desserts, I get bored making the same thing too often. My personal favorite desserts are Panna Cotta and Tiramisu, and I make both of these Italian specialties when we have guests because they can be prepared ahead of time, and they are both delicious!. Since I do tend to get bored easily, I am always playing around with the ingredients to come up with new versions of these traditional treats. I recently created a Strawberry Tiramisu that was a big hit with our guests, and since that one went over so well, I decided to create a lemon flavored version. I wanted to add Limoncello to my list of ingredients as it has a tart, very intense lemon flavor that is delicious, and it brought a perfect fresh lemon flavor to this dessert. Since this is not a traditional Tiramisu, I made the decision to leave eggs out as many folks are concerned about consuming raw eggs. Though it changes the texture somewhat, it is delicious and full of flavor.
Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that originated from the Almafi coast area although it is now available worldwide and can be found in most stores that sell alcohol. If you cannot find it, you can always make it at home by using my recipe for Limoncello. To insure my tiramisu had enough of a lemon flavor, I also added some lemon curd into my mascarpone cream. Do not worry about the alcohol in the Limoncello, as it will evaporate when cooked. This dessert is great for entertaining, as it actually is better if prepared the day before and allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight. This recipes makes a large 13 x 9 inch pan, that will serve 10 unless you have very hungry guests! If you really do not want to include the Limoncello, you could simply increase the ingredients for the lemon syrup and use that to dip the cookies instead.
Deborah Mele 2013
Yield: Serves 10 - 12
Prep Time: 30 mins
1 Cup Limoncello Liqueur
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
40 Savoiardi or Lady Finger Cookies (2 Packages)
For The Mascarpone Cream:
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
16 Ounces Mascarpone Cream, Room Temperature
1 (10 Ounce) Jar Lemon Curd, divided
Remaining Lemon Curd
Lightly Toasted Sliced Almonds
In a small pan, heat the limoncello, water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the sugar has completely disolved.
Set the syrup aside to cool to room temperature.
In one bowl beat the cream with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form.
Begin to add 1/2 cup of the sugar until blended.
In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone with 3/4 of the jar of lemon curd until smooth, reserving the rest of the curd for the garnish.
Fold the cream mixture into the mascarpone mixture until blended.
Pour the syrup into a shallow bowl, and quickly dip each of the cookies into the mixture and lay them side by side in a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.
If necessary, cut the cookies to fill in any spaces.
Once you have one layer of cookies completed, spoon over half the mascarpone mixture.
Make another layer of dipped savoiardi cookies on top of the mascarpone cream layer, then finish by topping this layer with the rest of the cream mixture.
Use a knife to smooth the top of the cream, and garnish with the toasted almonds.
Mix the remaining lemon curd with a spoon, then drizzle it across the top of the tiramisu.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.