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I had a bunch of the Italian ladyfingers used for tiramisu, but no time or mascarpone to make the original. This is a pretty Americanized version, but I could just call it Lemon Pudding or Lemon Trifle and that would be fine too. No matter what you call it, it was a lovely end to the meal and I would make it again.

Lemon Tiramisu

1 box vanilla pudding, cooked to box instructions

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Limoncello

1/4 cup Marsala

16 Italian ladyfingers

Combine the cooked vanilla pudding with half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and vanilla extract. In a bowl or container big enough to fit the ladyfingers (one at a time), combine the rest of the lemon juice, Limoncello, and Marsala. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time into the mixture, long enough to absorb some liquid but not so long that they get soggy. Place in a single layer in your baking dish or cups. Spoon a light layer of the pudding mixture on top. Alternate layers until you’ve filled your dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you can wait at least a couple.

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Tiramisu has been one of my favorite desserts for…well…about as long as I can remember. My favorite is at a restaurant on the upper west side called Celeste. This is more of a traditional tiramisu, but I’m still working on their secret….I think some chocolate chips is part of it, but I’m not sure what else….stay tuned…For now, here’s a really yummy, traditional version.

Tiramisu

3 eggs, separated and at room temperature

1 pinch salt

3/4 cup sugar

8 ounces mascarpone

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cups strong freshly brewed coffee

3 tablespoons marsala

22 savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)

1 teaspoon cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon shaved semisweet chocolate

Combine the coffee and marsala in a dish. Beat the egg whites and salt to stiff peaks. Beat the heavy cream to soft peaks with cleaned beaters. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick. Add in mascarpone and combine. Slowly fold in the whipped cream and then the egg whites until just combined.

Dip the savoiardi one at a time in the coffee mixture for 1 second on each side. They soak up liquid quickly and you don’t want them to fall apart or make the tiramisu too soggy. Fill the bottom of a dish with half the savoiardi. Spread half the cream mixture over the savoiardi. Add another layer of the savoiardi and the rest of the cream mixture. Dust the cocoa powder on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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