Dessert

Pastry Cream Tiramisu (with Sardinian Savoiardi)

Nicoletta May 10, 2020

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Pastry Cream Tiramisu (with Sardinian Savoiardi).  We have yet to find somebody that doesn’t like Tiramisù, in Italy and abroad. Many even consider it their most favorite dessert. What’s not to love? Savoiardi, espresso coffee, cream, and cocoa create a scrumptious, luxurious dessert, where every spoonful melts in your mouth in heavenly pleasure.

Song of the day:  Stay Awake – Dean Lewis

Pastry cream tiramisu-in the dishes

I revisited the classic Tiramisu recipe making a delectable pastry cream instead of the mascarpone/egg cream, and using ‘giant’ Savoiardi which are traditional from Sardinia. The end result is utterly delicious, light, and wonderfully creamy. Looking for a quick, delicious dessert for Mother’s Day or just to sweeten up your Sunday lunch? Try this Pastry Cream Tiramisu, you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Savoiardi, ladyfingers, sponge fingers biscuits

They are egg-based, sweet sponge biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger, hence their name. For this Tiramisu, I used Sardinian Savoiardi, also called “Pistoccus” which I bought at Eataly Roma. By the way, the Sardinian Savoiardi are less crispy than regular ladyfingers and bigger. In fact, they are soft, and light, with a crisp sugary topping. They just melt in your mouth, and when dipped in coffee, you know you found their perfect match.

Can you use regular ladyfingers, instead? Of course, you can, you will probably need twice as much.

Pastry cream tiramisu-savoiardi

The preparation

If you have made any type of Tiramisu, the preparation is essentially the same. First, I suggest you make the coffee and pastry cream. They both need to cool down before using them.

Coffee: I made a 6 cup coffee moka and I had just a little leftover coffee. I believe that, for a classic, Italian Tiramisu, coffee must be made in the moka, unsweetened, and used cold so that when you dip the Savoiardi they don’t get too soggy.

Pastry Cream: my mom’s easy recipe, the one I make all the time, uses 3 egg yolks, 3 glasses of milk, 3 Tablespoons of sugar, and 3 of flour (or cornstarch). I had just a tiny bit leftover which we ate straight from the bowl by the spoonful. You can flavor the milk with a vanilla bean or a lemon rind. 

What to do with leftover egg whites? The next day we added 1 more whole egg, asparagus, and we made a lighter frittata.

Pastry cream tiramisu-whole in the pan

The steps

  1. First layer: quickly dunk and lift the Savoiardi in the cooled espresso coffee and lay in a dish (I used a 26×16 cm rectangular baking dish) covering the base tightly (even cutting them in half to fit).  
  2. Next, spread half of the cream on top of the first layer of Savoiardi.
  3. Second layer: dunk the rest of the Savoiardi in the coffee, and arrange them on top of the cream. Then, spread the rest of the cream on top of the second layer of Savoiardi and finally, with a small colander, lightly dust unsweetened cocoa powder on top. 

After that, cover the Tiramisu with foil and place in the fridge to rest for 2-3 hours. The longer it stays, the more flavorful and moist it will get. Needless to say, the next day it will be even better.

Before serving, dust some more cocoa on top or shave some chocolate.

Pastry cream tiramisu-whole

Final thoughts

In conclusion, we were very pleased with the results of this Pastry Cream Tiramisu. The delicate taste of the pastry cream is a perfect match for the ladyfingers soaked in coffee. It is not too soggy, but also the Savoiardi don’t make any resistance when the fork -or spoon- goes in. We like our Tiramisu not too sweet, with a distinct coffee flavor. In order to achieve that, our coffee and cocoa are unsweetened, and the pastry cream is just mildly sweet.

Pastry cream tiramisu-from the top     

As a result, making Tiramisu with Sardinian Savoiardi forever changed our attitude and now we want to make it this way all the time. Not only the Savoiardi are bigger and softer but they also soak the coffee in a perfect way, without falling apart. And the pastry cream, with its velvety luscious texture, creates a wonderful backdrop for the biscuits and coffee to shine. Such a delectable end to a meal.

Happy Mother’s Day! Buona Festa della Mamma!

Song of the day:  Stay Awake – Dean Lewis

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Pastry cream tiramisu-in the dishes

Pastry Cream Tiramisu

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

I revisited the classic Tiramisu recipe making a delectable pastry cream instead of the mascarpone/egg cream, and using ‘giant’ Savoiardi which are traditional from Sardinia. The end result is utterly delicious, light, and wonderfully creamy.


Ingredients

  • Savoiardi (8 large biscuits, double if using regular ladyfingers), about 165 g
  • espresso coffee (I used my 6 cup stove top espresso coffee maker, about 350 ml)
  • unsweetened cocoa

For the pastry cream

  • 3 glasses milk (about 400 ml)
  • vanilla bean or lemon rind (optional, to flavor the milk)
  • 3 egg yolks, organic, free-range
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch (or cake flour), sifted

Instructions

For the pastry cream

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan (you could add a vanilla bean or a lemon rind).
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, then add the sifted flour (or cornstarch).
  3. Pour the heated milk mixture slowly, mixing with a whisk. Put back the mixture in the saucepan on the stove on low/medium heat, and stir constantly until the cream has thickened.
  4. You can pass it through a strainer if you see there are some lumps. Transfer the cream to a wide bowl (it will cool faster). Cover the top with plastic wrap ensuring that the plastic wrap is in contact with the surface of the cream. Let it cool at room temperature first, then in the fridge. Stir before using.
  5. Make the espresso and put it in a shallow dish to let cool.

Assembly the Tiramisu

  1. First layer: quickly dunk and lift the Savoiardi (ladyfingers cookies) in the cooled espresso coffee and lay in a dish (I used a 26 x 16 cm rectangular baking dish) covering the base tightly (even cutting them in half to fit).
  2. Next, spread half of the cream on top of the first layer of Savoiardi.
  3. Second layer: dunk the rest of the Savoiardi cookies in the espresso, arrange them on top of the cream.
  4. Spread the rest of the cream on top of the second layer of Savoiardi, then, with a small colander, lightly dust unsweetened cocoa powder on top.
  5. After that, cover the tiramisu with foil and place in the fridge to rest for about 2-3 hours. The next day it will be even better.
  6. Before serving, you can sprinkle some more cocoa on top or shave some chocolate.

Enjoy!


Notes

The ingredients are enough for a 26×16 cm rectangular baking dish.

If you want, you can sweeten your coffee or add liqueur to it.

The total time includes the resting time in the fridge.

Leftover tiramisu can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

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Pastry cream tiramisu

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24 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Melanie May 11, 2020 at 11:56 am

    This is absolutely the kind of decadence I need in my life right now! I love pastry cream and make it for my tarts but never thought of adapting the tiramisu with it! Looks delicious!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2020 at 12:12 am

      We all need it these days! My parents requested it again for next Sunday 🙂 . The pastry cream is the Italian “crema”, so easy, delicious, and light.

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria May 11, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    You know, the classic desserts never grow old. Always a hit. My guests love when I serve Tiramisu. So easy to make. So delicious to eat.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2020 at 12:13 am

      They are classics, evergreens, for a reason 😉 . Next time, hope you try making Italian pastry cream for your Tiramisu, your guests will love it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chef Dennis May 13, 2020 at 1:52 am

    Hmm yum! This Pastry Cream Tiramisu (with Sardinian Savoiardi) is making me drool! IT looks really delicious. I will definitely make this for my wife.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2020 at 6:37 am

      She will be extremely pleased if you do 🙂 . Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Cory Varga May 13, 2020 at 2:00 am

    It looks amazing. My family loves Italian food so I’m going to try and make it for mum’s bday.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2020 at 6:38 am

      It tastes amazing, too! Hope you try! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen May 13, 2020 at 7:50 am

    I haven’t had tiramisu in forever! I love the pastry cream idea, it looks so light and dreamy.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2020 at 8:52 am

      It’s impossible, for us, in Italy 😉 It’s like a national dessert 🙂 . It is very light and oh so delicious. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Eva May 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    What a genius idea to be using crema pasticciera in tiramisù!! I also belong to the rebels club and usually thicken my tiramisù cream with whipped cream. Just because I like to add some fat 😀 And how cool those mega savoiardi are! I had never seen them. Their size and shape remind me of dried biscuits I could get in the Canavese region of Piemonte, but those were flakier so not really related to savoiardi. Thanks for the very interesting read!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 16, 2020 at 6:35 am

      Thank you! Well, the idea happened in time of lockdown, when we had some eggs but definitely not mascarpone in our fridge. My mom’s crema pasticcera is so light and silky, it seemed like the best answer to that. Plus, those Savoiardi…amazing!

  • Avatar
    Reply Paula Montenegro May 15, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Tiramisu was my favorite dessert for years, so I can’t wait to try this version! Homemade pastry cream is so amazing. I can only imagine the flavor of this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 16, 2020 at 6:36 am

      It is such a great compliment to the coffee and biscuits! It is a scrumptious dessert, thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sharon May 15, 2020 at 11:51 am

    This dish is a Tiramisuupgrade. The pastry cream takes this dessert to a whole new level.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 16, 2020 at 6:37 am

      It does! We’re making it again for our Sunday lunch 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise May 16, 2020 at 6:25 am

    This looks incredible! I LOVE tiramisu, and never made the traditional dessert, I was always intimidated by it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 16, 2020 at 6:38 am

      Thank you! Both the traditional and this one with pastry cream are quite amazing. We don’t always have mascarpone in the fridge, so the pastry cream is a wonderful substitute.

  • Avatar
    Reply Harold May 16, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Sounds great.

    I want to unsubscribe please and you dont provide that option!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 17, 2020 at 1:12 am

      Hi Harold, thank you, it is really great. We’re sorry to hear you want to unsubscribe. Anyway, you can find the unsubscribe option at the end of the email you receive from sugarlovespices:

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  • Avatar
    Reply Sara May 17, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Oh my goodness.Talk about an indulgent dessert! This will be perfect for a special anniversary treat for my husband and I!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2020 at 6:15 am

      It would be a lovely dessert for a date night, yes 😉 . Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sophie May 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I love tiramisu and this looks so perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 18, 2020 at 6:14 am

      We made it again the weekend after, it’s that good 😉 . Thanks!

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