This is one of the recipes that I save for when Mom comes to town each spring. It’s not one of my 3-ingredient recipes that I love to throw together when I’m craving something sweet, nor is it one of the things I make when I’m feeling down and need something to cheer me up. This one takes a bit more effort and needs plenty of refrigerator time before I can even consider putting it on the table.
But it’s worth it. It’s both tart and sweet, creamy and luscious. And it’s perfect for springtime.
I start by making my own lemon curd. It’s possible to cut corners here and buy some lemon curd from the store, but in my opinion this is when you don’t want to go there. You know I’m all about shortcuts, but really only when they make sense and won’t impact the quality of a dish. Homemade lemon curd is just sooo much better than store-bought, so do yourself a favor and take the extra step. I have two recipes for lemon curd; one will guarantee you’ll turn out a curd that’s silky and smooth, the other is almost as good but you’ll save some time by making it in the microwave.
I love to serve this tiramisu in mini-dishes; here I’ve used mini trifles, but any mini dish would do. It’s gorgeous – the photos really don’t do it justice – and the clean, fresh flavors are what make it my favorite springtime dessert recipe. Be sure to get some bright, fresh berries or fresh mint leaves to use for a garnish.
- 4 tablespoons brandy or 4 tablespoons white rum
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 4 T sugar , divided
- 1 (9 ounce) packet sponge cake fingers (or more)
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 c homemade lemon curd
- 2 large eggs , separated
- 150 ml cream
Mix together the lemon juice and brandy. Add 2 T sugar and stir until it dissolves. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
Beat together the remaining sugar, mascarpone, lemon curd, egg yolks and the lemon zest.
Carefully fold the cream in the mascarpone mixture, followed by the egg whites.
Stir the lemon juice mixture. Dip the ladyfingers in the juice mixture (they will soak up the juice very quickly so you only need to leave them in it for a second). Layer them in whatever dish you’re using to serve (springform pan, trifle dish, mini dishes of some sort).
Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits, dip remaining ladyfingers and arrange as you go. End with mascarpone mixture on top.
Level the top using a knife, cover and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours for best results.
Remove from fridge, garnish and serve.