Strawberry Tiramisu

I love fresh strawberries when they are in season and if it’s still cool enough to bake, I will make a strawberry crostata. However, summer seems to be here to stay awhile. So, I’ve put a summer twist on a classic northern Italian dessert.

Tiramisu is typically made by layering savoiardi (lady finger cookies) and zabaglione, (an airy cooked custard of egg yolks, sugar and Marsala).

This fresh berry version does need to chill in the refrigerator for several hours, but it requires no cooking. Perfect for the unusually hot summer weather, many of us are experiencing this year. Since I didn’t have any lady fingers, I used the madeleines I had on hand (see image below). they are more cake like, so you could probably use sliced pound cake as well. The cookies are dipped in a delicious strawberry puree and layered between a luscious mascarpone cream.


  • 3 Cups fresh strawberries, plus more for serving
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, plus 1/2 cup
  • 2 tablespoon orange liquor
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (8-onnce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 20 Madeleines (cookies)
  1. Rinse, hull and slice the strawberries and place in a medium-size bowl. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of sugar, orange liquor and balsamic vinegar. Let macerate (release their juices) for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Transfer to a blender. Add strawberry jam, process until smooth, about one minute. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks in a large bowl with the 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat on high for four minutes. the eggs will triple in volume and turn pale yellow.
  4. In another large bowl using the electric mixer, beat the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Add mascarpone and orange zest; beat on medium speed until soft and billowy, about 20 seconds. Fold mascarpone mixture into egg yolk mixture.
  5. Pulse the berry mixture in the blender a few seconds and pour into a shallow dish or pie plate. Dip the cookies into the pureed berries, one at a time, turning each over to coat both sides. Place in a single layer in an 8 x 8-inch glass baking pan (I used 10 cookies).
  6. Evenly spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Repeat the process by dipping the other 10 cookies in the strawberry puree, turning them over to coat both sides. Place them on top of the mascarpone mixture. Finish with the remaining mascarpone. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours.
  7. Refrigerate the remaining strawberry puree (about 1-cup) to be used for plating.
  8. To serve, spoon the strawberry puree onto a dessert plate, top with a slice of tiramisu. Serve with additional strawberries.

*** Note: For those concerned about the raw eggs, when you add sugar to the yolks, a chemical reaction occurs. Whisking to incorporate the sugar keeps the eggs from hardening as the sugar draws out the moisture from the yolk, thus changing the structure of the yolk. It’s then safe to eat. I use organic pasteurizes eggs. 

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