Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lemon and Blueberry Tiramisu

I love tiramisu and I love lemon, but I must admit, it never occurred to me to put the two together until I found this delightful recipe in Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham. As she says, it’s perfect for a summertime celebration or in the dead of winter when you wish it were summer!! This dish is so bright and refreshing. The blueberries and lemon are a wonderful compliment to each other. It is not too hard to make (especially if your husband makes it for your book club!) and the presentation is lovely. With just a hint of decadence, I guarantee this fresh twist on tiramisu will be a big hit with your family or guests!  
Luscious Lemon Blueberry Tiramisu
Serves 8-10
Ingredients
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
3 strips lemon zest, removed with vegetable peeler
One 4 oz. package lady fingers
Blueberry Sauce (about 4 cups, see recipe below)
1 ½ cups Lemon Curd (see recipe below)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 quart fresh blueberries
6 toothpicks

Preparation
Bring the sugar, water and lemon zest to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and cool to room temperature. Discard lemon zest.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass-baking dish with the lady fingers. Brush them the cooled sugar syrup. Pour the Blueberry Sauce and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Whisk together the Lemon Curd, mascarpone, and heavy cream in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour the mixture over the Blueberry Sauce and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Carefully put the fresh blueberries on top of the lemon curd. Stick 6 toothpicks evenly spread out over the dessert and cover carefully cover the dessert with aluminum foil (the toothpicks are to keep the foil from touching the top of the dessert. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve in clear-stemmed glasses if you have them.

Blueberry Sauce
Ingredients
1 quart fresh blueberries or 2 bags frozen blueberries
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbls. water
1 to 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Preparation
Cook the blueberries, sugar, and water over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, in a large saucepan, for 5 minutes, or until berries are softened and a sauce is formed. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice to taste. Cool to room temperature.

Lemon Curd
Makes about 1½ cups
Ingredients
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbls. finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks

Preparation
Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.

Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when a finger is drawn across it, do not allow the mixture to boil (otherwise you’ll end up with sweet scrambled eggs)! Immediately pour the Lemon Cured through a mesh strainer into a bowl (using a spoon to push it through), whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered until ready to use.

Tips and Tidbits
The Lemon Curd keeps for about a month in the refrigerator, so you can make this well in advance of assembling the dessert. I don't recommend using bottled Lemon Curd as a short cut. The bottled version is much sweeter than the homemade and would make the dessert too sweet. (I know, I know for some of you, there is not such thing as too sweet, but trust me on this one, make the Lemon Curd!)

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