Limoncello Tiramisù is my most beloved variation of this extraordinary and popular dessert.
I know, you have already started smelling coffee and cocoa powder, but this time I need to disappoint you. This is not a classic Tiramisù. I have a recipe for the traditional one as well, but I think I should give an unexpected twist this week. Tiramisù is such a crowd-pleaser dessert that proposing creative alternatives should be a moral obligation!
The first time I tasted this fresh, sumptuous lemony treat was on the occasion of my 23th birthday. My childhood friend Antonella prepared it for me and I instantly fell in love. Although she gave me the recipe much time ago, I made many changes during the years that now I can propose my own.
Currently, this is the favorite birthday cake of my boyfriend, and if you try it, it might become the number one of your sweetheart too!
We are almost approaching Easter, so I also thought that maybe some of you could use it as alternative dessert if you haven’t come up with anything yet! If you are afraid kids won’t be able to eat it because of Limoncello, don’ t worry. You can substitute the liquor with more lemon juice – instructions below in the method.
Limoncello Tiramisù has a big flaw
The big problem is that I cannot prevent myself from tasting the mascarpone cream with a spoon while I am preparing it. I always have tons of excuses to justify that. I have to be sure I put the right amount of Limoncello, or I need to check the sugar quantity… What if it is not sweet enough? My boyfriend usually saves the day, reminding me that our guests would certainly complain if I welcomed them with mascarpone all over my face and an empty fridge. Sometimes I prepare it just for the both of us, when friends are not expected, and we eat our way down, directly from the pyrex dish. Why bothering preparing portions when you already know the end?
It’s all about fruit
If you like lemon, you will definitely adore this refreshing and aromatic Tiramisù as much as I do. It is especially perfect in spring and summer.
Despite the difference in some ingredients, the preparation is very similar to the classic, more popular version. You need mascarpone – the fresher, the better – lemon juice and Limoncello.
The Limoncello and lemon juice soaked ladyfingers will be layered with a light and soft filling made of mascarpone, eggs yolks, sugar and whipped egg whites. If you are concerned about eating raw eggs, you can use whipped cream instead. Certainly the result will be slightly heavier, but why on earth should you avoid such a monumental pleasure just because of eggs?
The proportion water-Limoncello for the ladyfingers’s dip is really personal. If you prefer to decrease the alcoholic component, you can use the juice of one lemon, instead of just half.
I chose blueberries and raspberries to decorate because of the adorable bittersweet contrast (and because my boyfriend loves them more than any other fruits). Alternatively, you can use strawberries, which are sweeter than red fruits.
If you don’t have much time to dedicate to cooking, this could be the right choice: Tiramisù does not require a long preparation. You will just need to make sure to have it ready it around 6 hours in advance – this is the average refrigeration time before serving. In alternative, you can freeze for 2 hours or, if you are well organized, you can make it ahead, the day before. This does not work with me, as the poor Tiramisù is always threatened by my attacks and risks not to make it through the night.
Not only this dessert is fresh and delicious, but it is as well ideal after a big meal, due to the digestive properties of lemon. You can serve it in a big pyrex dish, in perfect family-style, or divide it in monoportion cups, glass or goblets for a fancy dinner among friends.
Did I convince you? Yes? Let’s have a look at what we need!
Limoncello Tiramisù with Blueberries and Raspberries
Ingredients (for a 9/13 inch pyrex dish)
500 gr (17 oz) mascarpone
10 tbsp sugar
3 eggs, or 175 ml – 3/4 cup whipped cream
8 tbsp Limoncello
The juice of half lemon (or 1 lemon and a half, if you don’ t want to use Limoncello)
200 ml water (little less than a cup)
36 ladyfingers – you might need some less, some more, depending on the dimension of your dish
100 gr. (1 cup) red fruits for the decoration
Note: I was so caught up making the video that I took no pictures of the preparation this time. Please forgive me, watch the video and ask me any question if you have doubts!
In two different bowls, separate the egg yolks from the whites; set the whites aside.
Beat egg yolks and 7 tablespoons of sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Add the mascarpone and mix, until blended and creamy. If you are using cream instead, whip it until it forms soft peaks and incorporate it to the mascarpone, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. You might as well need to change the amount of tablespoons of sugar, depending on the quantity of sugar contained in cream.
Add 6 tablespoons of Limoncello and mix, if you are using an electric mixer, or stir with a wooden spoon. The amount of Limoncello varies depending on your taste. I would suggest to start by adding 3 spoons and tasting it, then adjust. If you go for the alcohol-free version, you can add the juice of half a lemon instead.
Now, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form firm, stiff peaks. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
With a peeler or a knife, remove the zest from the lemon.
In a small pan, heat water, half lemon juice (or one lemon juice, for the alcohol free version), the lemon zest, the rest of sugar and Limoncello to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until sugar is dissolved. Set aside for some minutes to get cool and remove the lemon zest.
Pour the syrup into a shallow bowl and dip each biscuit quickly on both sides. Lay them side by side to cover the base of the pyrex dish. Cover the ladyfingers with 1/3 of the cream, and repeat layers two times, ending with a layer of mascarpone cream. It might be necessary to break some cookies to fill some empty spaces.
Refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
Decorate it with red fruits and serve.
Additional note: Make sure to be very quick when dipping the ladyfingers. Too much juice would make the cake too soggy and mushy, and that’s not what you need to obtain. The biscuits should be soft, but you don’ t need to fill the liquid in your mouth.
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Limoncello Tiramisù with blueberries and raspberries
Limoncello tiramisù with raspberries and blueberries is the perfect fruity treat for a family gathering or for a dinner with friends.
- 500 gr (17 oz) mascarpone
- 10 tbsp sugar
- 3 eggs, or 175 ml - 3/4 cup whipped cream
- 8 tbsp Limoncello
- The juice of half lemon (or 1 lemon and a half, if you don' t want to use Limoncello)
- Lemon zest
- 200 ml water (little less than a cup)
- 36 ladyfingers - you might need some less, some more, depending on the dimension of your dish
- 100 gr. (1 cup) red fruits for the decoration
- Step 1 Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
- Step 2 Set the whites aside.
- Step 3 Beat egg yolks and 7 tablespoons of sugar together in a large bowl until pale and thick.
- Step 4 Add the mascarpone and mix, until blended and creamy. If you are using cream instead, whip it until it forms soft peaks and incorporate it to the mascarpone.
- Step 5 Add 6 tablespoons of Limoncello (or the juice of half lemon) and mix/stir with a wooden spoon.
- Step 6 Beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form firm, stiff peaks.
- Step 7 Using a silicone spatula, gently fold egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
- Step 8 With a peeler or a knife, remove the zest from the lemon.
- Step 9 In a small pan, heat water, half lemon juice (or one lemon juice, for the alcohol free version), the lemon zest, the rest of sugar and Limoncello to a boil.
- Step 10 Reduce heat to low and cook until sugar is dissolved.
- Step 11 Set aside for some minutes to get cool and remove the lemon zest.
- Step 12 Pour the syrup into a shallow bowl and dip each biscuit quickly on both sides.
- Step 13 Lay them side by side to cover the base of the pyrex dish.
- Step 14 Cover the ladyfingers with 1/3 of the cream, and repeat layers two times, ending with a layer of mascarpone cream.
- Step 15 Refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
- Step 16 Decorate it with red fruits and serve.