La Vera Cucina

Gerardo’s Lemon Tiramisu

At Gerardo’s Italian Bistro in Payson, AZ, Chef Gerardo Moceri loves improvising with fresh ingredients. So when Gerardo received an abundance of fresh lemons, he was inspired to put a lemon-flavored twist on the popular dessert tiramisu!



  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese (cold) 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • lemon syrup (see below)
  • 14 ounces Italian ladyfinger cookies (48 ladyfingers)



Place egg yolks in top pan of double boiler. Whisk just until combined. Using portable mixer, beat in sugar and salt. Beat at medium-high speed until pale, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally. Blend in 1/3 cup whipping cream. Set top pan of double boiler over 1-inch of gently simmering water (bottom of pan must not touch water). Cook, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 160° F, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir vigorously. Stir in lemon juice, then cool 20 minutes.

Transfer to large bowl; beat in mascarpone cheese and lemon peel until well-blended. Separately, whip remaining 3/4 cup cream until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture, 1/3 at a time.

One at a time, dip half of ladyfingers into lemon syrup (do not soak) and arrange side by side along bottom of dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Dip remaining ladyfingers, and repeat layering process. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Serve chilled. Makes 12 servings.


Lemon Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar



Combine the lemon juice, liqueur, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.