Lemon Tiramisu

Are you looking for a nice cool summer dessert?  Try this one from Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen by Francine Bryson.  It is a nice take on the classic. Francine is a blue ribbon winner from many cooking competitions and she was a contestant on the American Baking Competition hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. I remember watching her on that show and probably routing for her to win. She didn’t end up winning that season but this cookbook was the outcome. 


  • 1 ¼ cups sugar                                                  
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest                
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)                                     
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 24 to 26 ladyfinger cookies, as needed (I used 36)


  1. In a small saucepan, stir together ½ cup of the sugar, ½ cup of the lemon juice, and ½ cup water over medium heat until dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Set the lemon syrup aside to cool.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, flour, and the remaining ¾ cup sugar until smooth and pale.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat just until bubbles appear around the edges.  Whisking vigorously, add half of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture, making sure not to scramble the yolks.  Whisk everything back into the milk in the pan.  Cook, whisking the whole time, until boiling and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mix in the butter and white chocolate.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.  Stir in the lemon zest and the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice.  Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard mixture and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. 
  4. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.  Whisk the mascarpone into the chilled custard and then use a rubber spatula to fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Arrange half of the ladyfinger cookies in a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.  Generously brush the cookies with half of the lemon syrup.  Spread with half of the cream mixture.  Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers, syrup and cream.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 6 before serving.

Serves 10 to 12