My street is such a joy. It can’t really be called a street though, it’s more of a narrow cobblestoned path that exactly one European-sized (read: small) car can drive down at a time. On Saturday night after my final lesson of the week, I trotted down my street with a skip in my step, loving life. (As you do when the weekend comes.) The only little kids that live on the street were all playing soccer together, alerting each other when I was walking by. “Hey! Watch out for the signora!” The cobbler, the photograpaher and the carpenter were in their usual intense political discussion, and the old ladies chattering about how they make cabbage from one balcony to another.
Instead of going straight home, I took a detour through a few tiny side streets - one is called Vico Giardinetto - as in, “little street of the little garden.” Nearby, there’s a fruit vendor who I knew was selling strawberries for super cheap. (The balcony ladies were talking about them the other day.) I arrived to find overflowing baskets of ripe berries for only two euro a kilo. I bought three.
Barbara and I were musing that night about how we could vary the ever classic Tiramisu recipe and what we came up with was truly the perfect spring dessert. Like a strawberry shortcake, the strawberry tiramisu is creamy and not too sweet, the lady fingers soaking up all that wonderful juice. And Manu loved it. I was glad, since I made it just for him for his onomastico! That’s your saint name day. Here in Italy everyone is named after a saint and every saint has a day. They take the onomastico pretty seriously, and most people get presents and everything when their day arrives. Too bad there isn’t a saint Marissa.
(a Marissa and Barbara collaboration)
1 1/2 tbs sugar
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pound strawberries (about 25, a few more for garnish)
1 8 oz. tub marscapone
3 eggs separated
3 tbs sugar
1. Chop the berries and add the 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and the juices. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, beat the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat the yolks with the 3 tablespoons sugar. Add the marscapone to the yolks, and fold that into the whites.
3. Take the berries out of the fridge and strain them, reserving all their juices.
4. Create the layers; first a layer of just cream. Then a layer of the lady fingers dipped in the strawberry juice - don’t dip for longer than a couple seconds. Now add all the strawberries to the cream and pour half of that mixture as the next layer. Again, a layer of lady fingers and finally the last layer of strawberries and cream. If you still have strawberry juice left over, pour that on top. Garnish with more berries if you wish and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
I loved this recipe so much, I think I want it as our wedding cake. Would you try this variation? Or are you too attached to the original?
Happy Onomastico to my dear Manu! And to all of you out there named Emanuele!