Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Luscious Lemon II

Many people know the tiramisu in Italian restaurants as a dessert that incorporates ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, chocolate, coffee, and perhaps marsala wine. But I recently tried a recipe from Whole Foods for Lemon Tiramisu, which gets its creaminess from part-skim ricotta cheese, and its lemony zing from Limoncello as well as lemon juice.

There's no baking involved and, after a few hours of refrigeration, this lemony treat easily 'falls' from its upended serving dish onto a plate, ready for serving. Check out this recipe for a summery version of an old favorite.

Lemon Tiramisu
Serves 6-8

2 pounds part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
zest of 3 lemons
juice of 3 lemons
1/3 cup Italian lemon liqueur
2 teaspoons cold water
6 ounces ladyfinger cookies (about 40 small cookies)

Special equipment = 1 3/4 quarts capacity bowl or mold

In a large mixing bowl, use a spatula to mix the cheese, sugar, pinch of salt and lemon zest together well. Taste cheese mix and add more sugar if needed, according to taste. Set aside.

Strain lemon juice and mix in a small bowl with the lemon liqueur and the water. To start assembling tiramisu, dip the ladyfinger cookies (one by one) in the liqueur lemon juice mix briefly, and then arrange the cookies in the bottom of the serving bowl. After covering the bottom, place the soaked cookies up the sides of the bowl, overlapping slightly if necessary to cover all around the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Add all the cheese mix to the bowl and press slightly with spatula. Cover the top of the bowl with the remaining soaked cookies. Cover with wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours. Once firm, the tiramisu may be turned over onto a plate to unmold or have the servings scooped from the bowl directly onto plates.

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