Friday, August 16, 2013

Blueberry tiramisù

I'm honestly reluctant to call this dessert a "tiramisù," as it contains neither coffee, nor chocolate, nor mascarpone, nor eggs.  But it resembles a tiramisù in its structure (ladyfingers, or savoiardi), a flavoring, and a creamy layer, repeated.

In the same way that we now call pretty much anything in a stemmed cocktail glass a "martini," we'll call this a "tiramisù."

I opted to not use eggs as this will be traveling in 80-degree weather to a pool party, and thought the raw eggs typical in a tiramisù might not be the best idea.  I opted not to use mascarpone because it's unreasonably expensive, and for a pool party, Philadelphia cream cheese -- with a bit of whole-milk Greek yogurt to add some sharpness -- will do just fine. 

There are a few components to this dessert.  We'll do each separately. 

Lemon simple syrup
1 c sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice of half a lemon
Squeezed lemon rinds

Zest one lemon.  Set zest aside for later use.  Squeeze lemon halves into small bowl.  Set aside.
Combine sugar, water, and squeezed lemon halves in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Stir.  Lower heat to medium, and let simmer about 5 minutes until clear.  Set aside to completely cool.  Add half the lemon juice.

Blueberry compote
3 pints blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Scant 1/2 cup water
Pinch of salt
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of cinnamon

Bring berries, sugar, water, and salt to a simmer.  Stir.  Let cook just a few minutes until there is a thin sauce.  Set aside to cool completely.  Stir in the other half of the lemon juice and the cinnamon.

Crème filling
2  8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of a whole lemon
1/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 pint whipping cream

Whip cream to soft peaks in a bowl.  Set aside. 

Beat softened cream cheese with sugar, vanilla, salt, lemon zest, and yogurt, until the mixture is creamy and the sugar is dissolved (there will be no grittiness remaining). 

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined.  Refrigerate until read to use.

Assembling the tiramisù
Simple syrup
Berry compote
Crème filling
1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Put a layer of soft ladyfinger cakes in a deep 9" x 13" baking dish or foil pan.  Lightly drizzle lemon-flavored simple syrup on the cakes.  Cover the cakes with half the berry compote.  Spread half the crème filling over the berries.  Repeat with another layer of cakes, syrup, berries, crème.  Top with the fresh blueberries. 

Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Syrup-soaked ladyfingers, with berry compote spread over.

Berries covered with creme filling.

Second layer.  Ladyfingers soaked with lemon-flavored syrup.

 Final layers of berry compote and creme filling, then topped with uncooked berries. 

Special bonus treat.  Leftover ladyfinger, spread with a bit of homemade raspberry jam, and a bit of creme filling, topped with another ladyfinger.   Dang.  Heaven on spongecake. 

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