Although there are myths to the contrary, it may surprise you to discover that Tiramisu (which means “pick-me-up” in Italian) was created quite recently (by European standards).
Sometime in the 1930’s, a small restorante (restaurant) in Treviso, located northwest of Venice on Italy’s Adriatic coast, came up with this decadent dessert.
Clients of a nearby House of ill Repute used to enjoy it as a ricostituente, or pick-me-up, after their labors. Hence the name.
- 3 pints blueberries
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone (Italian cream cheese)
- 1 1/2 cups lemon curd
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 (7-ounce) package crisp Italian ladyfingers cookies (Savoiardi)
Rinse the berries, remove any stems and juice the lemon.
In a large saucepan, cook the blueberries, sugar and water over medium heat until they are softened (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, lemon curd and cream until smooth.
Gather all your ingredients for assembly of the tiramisu.
Line a 9 1/4 x 5 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the ends to extend over the sides (you’ll be folding it back over to wrap the assembled tiramisu).
Working with 1 or 2 ladyfingers at a time, dip (both sides) into limoncello, arrange side by side in a single layer in the pan (see below).
(This size pan takes 8 cookies for this layer).
Spoon 1 and 1/2 cups of the berry sauce over the ladyfingers.
Next, spoon 1/2 of the mascarpone-lemon curd mixture over the berry sauce.
Repeat the dipping into the limoncello and layering of the ladyfingers. (8 more cookies)
Spoon another 1 and 1/2 cups of the berry sauce (there will be some leftover) over the cookies, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Pressing gently, top with the last 8 ladyfingers (dip bottom side only) in limoncello). This layer extends above the pan’s sides a bit.
Bring the plastic wrap up and over to completely cover the tiramisu. Use additional plastic if necessary. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Unwrap the plastic from the top of the tiramisu and invert onto a platter.
Remove the plastic, slice and serve immediately. Store the left over portions in fridge. It will get soft quickly.
Some occasions call for a special dessert (which this is ) but if I’m having a dinner party and it’s one of my friend’s birthday, after I’ve served everyone else, I bring out this individual serving of tiramisu (complete with lit birthday candle) and it really makes her (or him) feel special. I used a spring-form (cheesecake) pan. You’ll have to cut the ladyfingers to fit, other than that just layer as stated above.