Here’s something I just learned about Oregon (after a year of living here): you can’t buy hard liquor at the grocery store. For real. You can’t.
I learned this after locating all the ingredients for this recipe save for the Limoncello. This is a slightly expensive recipe to make with one pound of mascarpone cheese costing approximately $10, two packages of lady fingers costing approximately $7 and the limoncello costing about $22 to $25 depending on which brand you’re buying.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I don’t mind paying money for expensive ingredients so long as the dish is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Best or better. I’d be OK with it being one of the better dishes I’ve ever tasted.
If you make this recipe correctly, it will be one of the better desserts you’ll have had. Just be sure to learn from my mistake, as detailed below.
- Limoncello Simple Syrup
- 1/3 c. Limoncello (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 T. lemon zest
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 lb mascarpone cheese
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
- 1 lb ladyfingers (I used exactly 40)
- Prepare Limoncello Simple Syrup and cool.
- To make custard, place Limoncello, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Place bowl in a large pan with a little water on the bottom. Bring water to a simmer (water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). Whisk mixture constantly over simmering water bath until thick, about five minutes.
- While mixture is still warm place in a mixer and whip until doubled in volume and nearly cool. Add mascarpone. Whip until smooth. Do not overwhip or the mascarpone will separate. Cool to room temperature.
- Fold in whipped cream. Dip lady fingers in the simply syrup, submerging them to coat thoroughly, then remove and let excess syrup drip off. Place ladyfingers in a 13×9-inch glass dish side by side in a single layer. Top with half the custard mixture. Repeat another layer of ladyfingers dipped in simple syrup topped with another layer of custard. Chill (covered) for six hours before serving.
You do NOT need to cook the custard in a simmering bath of water. I cooked the ingredients over medium low heat until thickened, and it turned out fine. Save yourself from having to do extra dishes and do what I did.
DO NOT submerge the ladyfingers in simple syrup for much longer than it takes to coat the outside. You do NOT want to soak up a ton of simple syrup in the cookies. Trust me on this one. You don’t want alcohol logged ladyfingers in either of your layers. Unless you like soggy ladyfingers that give you a buzz from one bite? Then by all means go ahead and soak your ladyfingers until they begin to disintegrate (as I did).