Tiramisu al limone - reliving my Amalfi dreams
I don't think we will ever be able to move on enough from the memorable days that we got to spend at the Amalfi coast this year. It was a perfect amalgamation of everything delightful - from the charming views, to the fresh air, to the amazing people who always went out of their ways to make us feel comfortable at every destination we lived in. Every meal we had was special and irreplicable to a large extent outside the region. Fish was fresh, veggies were flavourful, and every meal ended with a lemony dessert. We were lucky to have lived through that experience, and given an option, I'd go back to Amalfi in a heartbeat!
This recipe takes me back to Amalfi in many ways. So much of love and lemon go into this recipe, that my home smells of the sweet Amalfi gardens, and my fridge welcomes its visitors with a fresh gush of air infused with rich citrus essence. I came across this recipe while binge watching Foodtube with Gennaro Contaldo preparing it in a wonderful makeshift kitchen in his hometown of Minori, with mesmerising backdrop of the Amalfi coastline. I am tremendously inspired by Gennaro's passion for Italian flavours. His recipes are not just mathematical combinations of flavours, but beautiful stories of his childhood, friends, and the experiences that made him the person he is now.
I silently gave a sigh or two as I watched Gennaro passionately use the Amalfi lemons while making his tiramisu, for I knew I couldn't replicate one here in The Netherlands. I neither have the luxury of the Amalfi lemons, nor do I have of the limoncello in my pantry. I quickly realized that there was no benefit dreaming of replicating the recipe and painfully failing, as it is best reserved for another trip to the Amalfi coast. After settling my emotions in and re-watching this video to pick up some tips and steps, I set off to prepare a version devoid of limoncello and the Amalfi lemons. This one perhaps took me a few minutes to whisk through, and 3-4 hours to set. The flavours were so intense and fresh, I think, Tiramisu won't be the same anymore for me. This one was special, indeed!
Serves - 6
Time to prepare - 20 minutes
Time to process (in the fridge) - 3 hours
- 2 free range eggs
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Peel of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp brown/cane sugar
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 3 tbsp confectioner's sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 15-20 Lady fingers
- 300ml water
- In a pan, add the water, brown sugar, and the lemon peel and let it simmer until the quantity halves. During this time, you can prepare the rest of the steps.
- Carefully separate the egg whites & yolks into 2 separate bowls.
- Add the confectioner's sugar into the egg yolk and whisk until it starts to turn pale & creamy. By hand, it should take about 3-4 minutes of gentle whisking. Add the mascarpone cheese and whisk for 2-3 more minutes. Introduce the lemon zest to the mixture and mix gently a few times. Set this aside.
- Whisk the egg whites until light peaks form. Gently add the egg yolk mixture and fold the egg whites.
- Once the lemon peel syrup cools down, gently dunk the ladyfingers into the syrup and layer them in a bowl between nice and lovely layers of the egg mix. I typically create 2-3 layers but for this one, 2 was just fine.
- Dust some cocoa powder on top and sprinkle some lime zest. Allow the tiramisu to set in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, best kept overnight.