Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tiramisu al Limoncello

If you are fond of the classic tiramisu, you would definitively enjoy this fresh twist on the popular Italian coffee dessert. Served with strawberries, tiramisu al limoncello is a great dessert choice for a spring celebration like Mother’s Day. I also like the combination of lemon flavored mascarpone with blueberries and other summer berries. You can serve it in a large dish for a family-style dessert, or in individual glasses or elegant cups for a more delightful presentation.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite Italian pastry chefs, Salvatore De Riso, owner of the Pasticceria De Riso in the town of Midori on the Amalfi Coast. I adapted the recipe to make it easier to assemble without compromising the wonderful lemon flavor of the mascarpone lemon cream and the limoncello syrup. Although the recipe has several components and it seems like a lot of work, the lemon cream and the lemon syrup can be made 2 or 3 days in advance and the tiramisu can be assembled very fast, 3 or 4 hours before serving it. I like to serve it with berries that are in season during spring and summer time.

Limoncello Tiramisu
Serves 8-10

Limoncello Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Limoncello

Mix water and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the limoncello. Place in refrigerator to cool (it can be made several days in advance).

Limoncello Cream
- 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 oz butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup limoncello

Place lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat.


Bring it to a boil and let it cool slightly. In a clean bowl beat the yolks to combine.



Dribble a small amount of hot lemon mixture in a steady stream into the yolks while quickly whisking the two together.

Continue to dribble in the lemon mixture and whisk until you feel, with your hand, that the bowl's side or bottom has become warm or as close as possible to the liquid's temperature. Continue to add the rest of the hot liquids in a steady stream to the yolks while whisking (this process is called tempering and it is done to avoid cooking the yolks).


Cook the mixture over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until cream is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

Stir in butter and limoncello. Transfer lemon cream to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature or below. Cover it with plastic wrap. At this point you can refrigerate the mixture for 2 or 3 days until you are ready to assemble the tiramisu.

Assembling Ingredients
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
- 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Limoncello Cream (recipe above)
- 2 cups heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks
- Limoncello Syrup (recipe above)
- 1 pound of lady finger cookies (about 30-40 lady finger cookies)

Mix mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar in a clean bowl until soft.


Add to the Lemon Cream (at room temperature). Mix until smooth. Do not over whip when using mascarpone cheese or it will separate.


Fold whipped cream (soft peaks) into above yolk/mascarpone cheese mixture.


Dip ladyfingers in the limoncello Syrup for ½ minute on each side

and then alternate layers of lady fingers soaked with simple syrup and cream in a 8 x 12 pan.



Begin with cookies and finish with cream.


It is best to assemble several hours before cutting.


Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.




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