This lemon tiramisu recipe is a nice summer twist on the traditional Italian coffee tiramisu. The brightness of the fresh lemons and limoncello, combined with a light ricotta cream and soaked ladyfingers, make this recipe a perfect summer dessert.

lemon tiramisu

 

This lemon tiramisu recipe is really the result of a mistake!

 

I’d originally set out to make a lemon tiramisu (or a limonemisu) based on a recipe I’d seen on TV by the Italian chef Ciro Cristiano.

 

In his version, he recommends to use a mix of buffalo ricotta and the more traditional mascarpone cheese. Somehow I left out the mascarpone cheese when making the recipe and ended up with a buffalo ricotta only tiramisu.

 

You’re probably thinking: “a Tiramisu without mascarpone?? Surely this not actually a tiramisu”! That’s probably true, but I really liked the result.

 

Buffalo ricotta is less fatty than mascarpone cheese so you end with a much lighter and more fluffier tiramisu. Buffalo ricotta might be challenging to find outside of Italy. I was able to get my hands on some as a friend brought some back for me, but you could substitute it for regular ricotta.

 

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Lemon tiramisu

This lemon tiramisu recipe is a nice summer twist on the traditional Italian coffee tiramisu. The brightness of the fresh lemons and limoncello, combined with a light ricotta cream and soaked ladyfingers, make this recipe a perfect summer dessert.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Nathalie

Ingredients

Ricotta cream:

  • 175 g (3/4 cups + 2 tbsp sugar)
  • 280 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp buffalo ricotta)
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 1/4 lime zest only
  • a couple of drops of limoncello
  • a couple of drops of lemon juice (to taste, optional)
  • 200 ml (1 cup cream)

Syrup:

  • 50 ml (1/4 cups water)
  • 50 ml (1/4 cups Limoncello)
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 vanilla pod

Ladyfingers

  • 60 g (1/2 packet ladyfingers or savoiardi)

Instructions

Prepare the ricotta cream (part 1):

  1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and foamy. 

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the ricotta until it’s smooth, then add the lemon zest, the zest of ¼ of the lime, a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of Limoncello. Incorporate the thick egg yolk mixture and combine until smooth. Taste and add a few drops of lemon juice if needed. Chill.

Prepare the syrup:

  1. Pour the water into a small pan, add the lemon zest and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and filter out the  zest. Finally, add the lemon juice and limoncello and set aside.

Prepare the ricotta cream (part 2):

  1. Pour the cream into a previously chilled mixer bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk the cream until semi-firm. The cream should not be stiff as it will be whisked again later in the recipe. You should instead aim for a crème fraiche/sour cream type of consistency.

  2. Remove the vanilla seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the ricotta mix. Delicately fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mix in 3 times. When done, pour into the mixer’s bowl and give it a final stir. The tiramisu cream is now ready.

Assemble the lemon tiramisu

  1. Pour the syrup into a deep dish. Dip the ladyfingers into the lemon syrup - do this quickly, less than 1 min, so that they don't get soggy. The ladyfingers they will get softer as the tiramisu chills.

  2. Place a layer of ladyfingers into the serving plate or individual glasses. Cover with a layer of tiramisu cream and start again. Chill for at least 6h to allow for the tiramisu to set, then zest some lime on the top before serving.

 

The brightness of fresh lemons and limoncello, combined with a ricotta based cream and soaked ladyfingers make for a delicious summer dessert.

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