The night before we flew back to the States, while we crammed things back into our suitcase hoping it would all fit, Stefano’s papà, Andrea, stopped by Nonna Pierina’s house and picked a crate full of lemons from the very prolific lemon tree that grows outside of her ground floor apartment.
Andrea sat at the little table in the kitchen and carefully peeled those lemons. He wrapped the lemon peel in paper towels, packaged it carefully in zip lock plastic bags, and then added ice packs to keep it cold. When we thought that nothing more could possibly fit into our suitcases, he came into the bedroom and presented us with these parcels of lemon peel. “Ecco,” he said. “Quando tornate in America potete fare il limoncello.” When we get back to America, we can make limoncello. He held us to it, too. He called us every day to ask if Stefano had bought the alcohol to soak the lemon peel in, until Stefano finally told him that he had.
We’ll be writing about how to make limoncello, the sweet, lemony liquor from Italy’s Amalfi Coast, a little later this summer. For today, we’re sharing with you a variation of Italy’s most famous dessert, tiramisù. We posted the original recipe, with espresso, brandy and cocoa, nearly a year ago. This version, tiramisù al limoncello, is a rich and flavorful summertime adaptation of the classic recipe.
Take note – it is best when refrigerated overnight, so plan ahead.
6 large eggs, with yolks and whites separated
200 grams (1 cup) + 1 pinch sugar
2 tubs (450 grams or 16 oz, total) mascarpone*
250 ml (1 cup) + 6 Tablespoons limoncello
250 ml (1 cup) warm milk
1 package Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)**
Pearl sugar, or other decorative sugar***
Combine the egg yolks, 6 Tablespoons of limoncello, and the sugar into large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer 2-3 minutes. Add the mascarpone and beat 3-5 more minutes until the consistency is smooth. Set aside.
In another bowl, add a pinch of sugar to the egg whites. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
Pour the rest of the limoncello and the warm milk into a different bowl. Submerge the lady fingers into the limoncello and milk one by one, and layer on bottom of a glass baking pan. Soak the lady fingers just enough so that they are not crunchy, but not so much that they break.
Spread 1/2 of mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers. Sprinkle pearl sugar over the mascarpone mixture. Add a second layer of lady fingers, and top with another layer of mascarpone mixture and pearl sugar.
Refrigerate overnight before serving.
* We use Bel Gioioso Mascarpone, which is sold in 8 oz. tubs.
**We use Alessi brand Savoiardi.
***Powdered sugar or any other decorative sugar can be used instead of pearl sugar, or you can skip it altogether.