Italian cuisine: Spring Strawberry Tiramisù
- WTI Magazine #163 May 20, 2023
In the United States, May is National Strawberry Month, and I love to celebrate with Strawberry Tiramisu. Usually made with prepared ladyfingers biscuits, it’s hard to believe that the lady fingers themselves were once considered extravagant.
For European royalty centuries ago, having the best cooks and recipes was a symbol of prestige. The House of Savoy (Italian: Casa di Savoia) is a royal family that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small county in the Alps of northern Italy to absolute rule of the kingdom of Sicily in 1713.
The biscuits created in this palace were called Savoiardi, which is still the Italian name for ladyfingers that are used in tiramisù recipes. They were invented around 1350 in Amedeo VI’s court for a visit by the king of France, which is when they got their name. During that time period, the Ottoman palaces were at the height of style. One of their common practices was to name dishes after parts of the female anatomy (lady’s fingers, lady’s thighs, lady’s eyelashes, and so on), and the trend spread through Europe and other fashionable courts as well. The modern version of tiramisu was created by “the “father of tiramisù,” Ado Campeol, who passed away in 2021. Italians recognized him for creating the recipe at his restaurant, Le Beccherie, alongside his wife, Alba Di Pillo, and Chef Roberto Loli Linguanotto.
Serve this recipe instead of strawberry shortcake in the summertime. Because this version of tiramisù contains no alcohol, in Italy it’s often prepared with kids. This is my variation on classic recipe, and I omit the egg whites, which are normally whipped to stiff peaks and folded into the mascarpone mixture instead of cream. If you prefer to make it the traditional way, omit the cream, and fold in egg whites instead. If you’d like to pair this dessert with wine, look for Prosecco dry or similar.
Recipe from Italian Recipes for Dummies by Amy Riolo.
Tiramisù di fragole/Strawberry Tiramisù
PREP TIME: 20 MIN
COOK TIME: 0 MIN PLUS OVERNIGHT CHILLING
YIELD: 12 SERVINGS
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese, chilled
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 24 plain lady fingers, divided
- 1/2 cup strawberry purée (made from puréeing fresh strawberries)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly sliced strawberries
You can use any kind of berries you like, or a mixture of berries, in this recipe. I usually make a red-white-and-blue version with the addition of blueberries for 4th of July and Memorial Day celebrations.