Limoncello Tiramisu

Maryana Lucia Vestic
Maryana Lucia Vestic

Maryana Lucia Vestic

Maryana is a professional baker and recipe developer. She runs Ravenswood Bakes, a sweet and savory bakery in Rhode Island. Her work has been featured in many prominent food publications.

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LIMONCELLO TIRAMISU

This Limoncello Tiramisu is a fresh take on a sweet Italian classic. Layers of lemony mascarpone and limoncello-soaked ladyfingers stand in for the traditional coffee and cocoa. Infuse one of Italy’s most treasured desserts with the brightness only lemon (and limoncello) could offer.

Limoncello Tiramisu looks and tastes like sunshine as a no-bake recipe with quick preparation. It’s all thanks to an egg custard zabaglione inspired by Lidia Bastianich which is used instead of lemon curd. 

It’s the perfect make-ahead dessert for a summer barbecue with friends or a simple supper at home. Whichever way you serve Limoncello Tiramisu, the burst of luxurious citrus makes each bite memorable.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • 6 ingredients – Lemons, limoncello, sugar, eggs, mascarpone, and ladyfingers are everything you need to make this limoncello tiramisu sing!
  • Zabaglione – Unlike many tiramisu recipes, this version includes an authentic Italian zabaglione. It consists of heating egg yolks, sugar, and (in this case) limoncello for a custard unlike any other.
  • No bake – Limoncello Tiramisu doesn’t require an oven. It simply takes between six hours and up to two days to chill in the refrigerator. This helps the creamy lemon flavors soak in even more for a beautifully blended result.
  • Bright and luxurious – The unforgettable combination of creamy mascarpone, custard, and lemon is something truly unique. With each spoonful, your taste buds will love the lemon flavor as it combines with the other luscious ingredients.
  • Presentation – You can layer the tiramisu in a serving dish or pile it high as you would a trifle. You can also create individual servings in glass dishes that make everyone who enjoys it feel special.
  • Famous recipe – Tiramisu is probably the most iconic Italian dessert. A limoncello variation only adds to the notoriety of this sweet treat with another of Italy’s favorite flavors.

Ingredients And Substitutions

Limoncello Tiramisu Ingredients And Substitutions

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 5-6 lemons to yield 2 tbsp lemon zest and ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ cups limoncello liqueur, divided
  • 14 ounces mascarpone at room temperature
  • 24 ladyfingers or more as needed

How to Make Limoncello Tiramisu 

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Pour just enough water into a double-boiler pan so the water level is below (and not touching) the bottom of the mixing bowl when it is sitting in the pan. Separate the eggs, putting yolks into the large bowl of the double boiler and the whites into another stainless-steel bowl for whipping later. 

Remove the zest of two or more of the lemons, using a fine grater, to get 2 tablespoons of zest. Squeeze out and strain the juice of these and the other lemons to get ¾ cup of fresh lemon juice.

Step 2: Make the Zabaglione

Heat the water in the double boiler to a steady simmer. Off the heat, beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar and ½ cup of the limoncello until well blended. Set the bowl over the simmering water, and whisk constantly for about 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken. It’s done when it falls in a ribbon, briefly holding its shape on the surface. If using a thermometer, don’t cook it over 70°C (158°F) or it will curdle.

Immediately take the bowl off the double-boiler pan and let the mixture cool.

Making the Zabaglione

Step 3: Make the Limoncello Syrup

Meanwhile, pour the remaining cup of limoncello, all of the lemon juice, and ½ cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes, evaporating the alcohol.

Let the syrup cool completely (you may want to place it outside to quicken the process).

Making the Limoncello Syrup

Step 4: Whisk the Mascarpone

In another large bowl, stir the mascarpone with a wooden spoon to soften it, then drop in the grated lemon zest and beat until light and creamy. Whip the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup sugar, by hand or by machine, until it holds moderately firm peaks.

Whisk the Mascarpone

Step 5: Combine Mascarpone and Zabaglione

When the zabaglione is cooled, add about a third of it over the mascarpone, and fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Fold in the rest of the zabaglione in two or three additions. Now fold in the whipped egg whites in several additions (carefully to not deflate the mixture), until the limoncello-mascarpone cream is light and evenly blended.

Combine Mascarpone and Zabaglione
Combining Mascarpone and Zabaglione

Step 6: Assemble

(You’ll need either a shallow casserole or baking dish with 3-quart capacity. Alternatively, you can use a deep trifle dish or separate dessert dishes/goblets. The following instructions are based on using a shallow casserole dish, as per the original recipe. However, simply adjust the layers and quantities depending on the type of dish/es you use, e.g. for the trifle dish I used, I created three layers, dividing the ingredients into thirds for each layer).

Pour some of the cooled syrup, no deeper than ¼ inch, into the shallow-rimmed pan to moisten the ladyfingers (savoiardi). One at a time, roll a ladyfinger in the syrup and place it in the casserole or baking dish. Wet each cookie briefly (2-3 seconds) or else it will fall apart. Arrange half of the dipped ladyfingers in neat, tight rows, filling the bottom of the dish. 

Pour some cooled syrup to moisten the ladyfingers

Spoon half of the limoncello-mascarpone cream over top of the lady fingers, and smooth it to fill the dish and cover them. Dip and arrange a second layer of lady fingers in the dish, and cover it completely with the remainder of the cream. Smooth the cream with the spatula, and seal the tiramisù airtight in plastic wrap.

Spoon half of the limoncello-mascarpone cream over top of the lady fingers
Smooth the limoncello-mascarpone cream with the spatula

Step 7: Refrigerate

Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 6 hours (but preferably 12-24 for the flavors to amalgamate). You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you’ve used a long, shallow dish for your tiramisu, slice pieces and serve on a flat plate. Or, if you’ve used a deep dish as I have, scoop portions out and serve in a dessert dish.

Serve with fresh berries — strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries are ideal.

LIMONCELLO-TIRAMISU-2

Serving Suggestions

You’ll love serving this Limoncello Tiramisu for dessert when you discover how many dishes it pairs with perfectly!


Expert Tips

  • Egg Whites. Most classic tiramisu recipes use either whipped cream or egg whites to thicken the mascarpone mixture. With egg whites, make sure to whisk them on high speed if using a mixer until you see stiff peaks. The fluffiness level is worth the wait! 
  • Egg Yolks. When using a double boiler to make the zabaglione, whisk the eggs steadily so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs instead of a rich custard-like texture.
  • Ladyfingers. When soaking the ladyfingers, don’t worry that you don’t have enough limoncello syrup. They soak up liquid incredibly fast and do not need to be completely soaked with syrup.
  • Chill Time. Patience is key here since this Limoncello Tiramisu is a no-bake recipe. Leave it to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. Hint: tiramisu tastes better if it has longer for the ingredients to soak in and get firm.

Storage Suggestions

  • You can keep Limoncello Tiramisu leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can be stored in an airtight container or covered tightly in plastic wrap. If making the tiramisu ahead of time, don’t let it sit for more than 4 days total.
  • If you decide on making individual cups or jars of Limoncello tiramisu, it’s even easier to store them in the refrigerator. Whenever you crave some lemony goodness, take one out and indulge!
  • You can make Limoncello tiramisu in advance, though it’s best to serve it within the allotted time (up to 4 days). If you decide to freeze it, wrap the tiramisu with plastic wrap, followed by foil to avoid freezer burn. It freezes for up to 3 months and thaws in the refrigerator overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Liquor For Tiramisu?

Traditional tiramisu typically uses dark rum as an ingredient. Some varieties include marsala wine for added flavor or coffee liquor for an extra punch of caffeine. Luckily, this variation is all about limoncello, which doubles up on lemon flavor for your taste buds to get excited about.

Can Kids Eat Limoncello Tiramisu?

It’s perfectly fine for kids to enjoy a slice of Limoncello Tiramisu. Remember, 1 ½ cups of limoncello equals a tiny amount in each slice. In the process of making the limoncello syrup, you’re also cooking off most if not all of the alcohol. 

What Is Limoncello Made Of?

Limoncello is made by steeping lemon peel in vodka until the oil from the lemon skin is released. It’s then sweetened with simple syrup, which softens the lemon flavor a bit. The amount of alcohol in limoncello can vary anywhere between 25% and 30%, which means the alcohol is not overpowering. It’s not too difficult to make limoncello yourself!

LIMONCELLO-TIRAMISU-2

Limoncello Tiramisu

This Limoncello Tiramisu is a fresh take on a sweet Italian classic. Layers of lemony mascarpone and limoncello-soaked ladyfingers stand in for the traditional coffee and cocoa. Infuse one of Italy’s most treasured desserts with the brightness only lemon (and limoncello) could offer.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10
Calories 436 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 large eggs separated
  • 5-6 lemons to yield 2 tbsp lemon zest and ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 ½ cups limoncello liqueur divided
  • 14 oz mascarpone at room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Pour just enough water into a double-boiler pan so the water level is below (and not touching) the bottom of the mixing bowl when it is sitting in the pan. Separate the eggs, putting yolks into the large bowl of the double boiler and the whites into another stainless-steel bowl for whipping later.
  • Remove the zest of two or more of the lemons, using a fine grater, to get 2 tablespoons of zest. Squeeze out and strain the juice of these and the other lemons to get ¾ cup of fresh lemon juice.
  • Heat the water in the double boiler to a steady simmer. Off the heat, beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar and ½ cup of the limoncello until well blended. Set the bowl over the simmering water, and whisk constantly for about 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken. It’s done when it falls in a ribbon, briefly holding its shape on the surface. If using a thermometer, don’t cook it over 70°C (158°F) or it will curdle. Immediately take the bowl off the double-boiler pan and let the mixture cool.
  • Meanwhile, pour the remaining cup of limoncello, all of the lemon juice, and ½ cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes, evaporating the alcohol. Let the syrup cool completely (you may want to pop it into the fridge to quicken the process).
  • In another large bowl, stir the mascarpone with a wooden spoon to soften it, then drop in the grated lemon zest and beat until light and creamy. Whip the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup sugar, by hand or by machine, until it holds moderately firm peaks.
  • When the zabaglione is cooled, add about a third of it over the mascarpone, and fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Fold in the rest of the zabaglione in two or three additions. Now fold in the whipped egg whites in several additions (carefully to not deflate the mixture), until the limoncello-mascarpone cream is light and evenly blended.
  • (You’ll need either a shallow casserole or baking dish with 3-quart capacity. Alternatively, you can use a deep trifle dish or separate dessert dishes/goblets. The following instructions are based on using a shallow casserole dish, as per the original recipe. However, simply adjust the layers and quantities depending on the type of dish/es you use, e.g. for the trifle dish I used, I created three layers, dividing the ingredients into thirds for each layer).
  • Pour some of the cooled syrup, no deeper than ¼ inch, into the shallow-rimmed pan to moisten the ladyfingers (Savoiardi). One at a time, roll a ladyfinger in the syrup and place it in the casserole or baking dish. Wet each cookie briefly (2-3 seconds) or else it will fall apart. Arrange half of the dipped ladyfingers in neat, tight rows, filling the bottom of the dish.
  • Spoon half of the limoncello-mascarpone cream over top of the ladyfingers, and smooth it to fill the dish and cover them. Dip and arrange a second layer of lady fingers in the dish, and cover it completely with the remainder of the cream. Smooth the cream with the spatula, and seal the tiramisù airtight in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 6 hours (but preferably 12-24 for the flavors to amalgamate). You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you’ve used a long, shallow dish for your tiramisu, slice pieces and serve on a flat plate. Or, if you’ve used a deep dish as I have, scoop portions out and serve in a dessert dish. Serve with fresh berries — strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries are ideal.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 7gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 109mgFiber: 2gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 703IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Limoncello Tiramisu
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Maryana Lucia Vestic
About The Author
Maryana is a professional baker and recipe developer. She runs Ravenswood Bakes, a sweet and savory bakery in Rhode Island. Her work has been featured in many prominent food publications.

Comments

  1. I can definitely see myself making this limoncello tiramisu for Christmas time.. I am all about tiramisu’s and trifles during the holiday season, they are so perfect for the weather here in Aus!

    Reply

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