As an alternative to the usual tiramisu, this version has a lemony finish and is a little more contemporary.
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cups limoncello liqueur
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
- 40 ladyfinger biscuits
Pour just enough water in a double-boiler so the water level is right below the bottom of the mixing bowl when it is sitting in the pan. Place yolks in the large bowl of the double boiler.
Beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar (reserving remainder) and ½ cup limoncello until well blended. Set over the simmering water and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. When the zabaglione (as the mixture is called) is thickened enough to form a ribbon on the surface, remove bowl from heat and let cool.
Add remaining 1 cup limoncello, lemon juice, 1 cup of water and ½ cup remaining sugar to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil about 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy. Cool completely.
Place mascarpone in a large bowl and stir to soften. Add grated lemon rind and beat until light and creamy.
Whip together egg whites and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a stainless-steel bowl until it holds firm peaks.
Scrape about a third of cooled zabaglione into mascarpone and fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Fold in remaining zabaglione in 2 or 3 batches. Fold in the whipped egg whites in several batches until light and evenly blended.
Pour syrup into a shallow pan. Roll half the ladyfingers in the syrup and place in the base of a casserole dish. Scoop half the limoncello-mascarpone cream onto the ladyfingers and smooth to fill the pan and cover them.
Dip and arrange the second layer of ladyfingers in the pan, then cover completely with remaining cream. Smooth the top and refrigerate before serving. Serves 6 to 8.