Anyone in a creative field will tell you that it’s easy to get caught up in the thoughts and feelings that everything you think of has already been done. It’s a pervasive thought and one that can take over if you let it. The reality is, most things have been done and that’s okay, because if you haven’t done them, then it’s still something new that you’re contributing. Your lens, so to speak, gives a feeling and voice to creative things that no one else can. It’s certainly something I grapple with from time to time but you can’t let it dampen your desire to create, design, make, and share. I love Tiramisu, full stop. I love coffee desserts, as you know if this isn’t your first time here, but I also cannot resist the siren call of fresh strawberries in early summer. I did a recipe round up featuring strawberries a few years ago and I have since added several other recipes. So when the idea struck me to do a tiramisu/strawberry shortcake type dessert, I abandoned the classic coffee component, and instead looked to herbal tea to make a juicy, summery Strawberry Tiramisu. It’s an irresistible dessert and it’s also impossible to resist calling it Tea-ramisu.
Start off by hulling and slicing two pounds of strawberries. This sounds like a lot but it’s what makes this dessert so summery and perfect. I find tasks like this so meditative, it’s so quiet and my hands sort of go onto auto pilot. Once they are sliced, you’ll want to macerate them in honey. When you add sugar to fruit it will quite soften it and draw out its natural juices, making it more flavorful and giving it some of the characteristics of being cooked, while still being fresh.
Yes, Honey, add that honey! It’s just enough to get those berries singing a sweet, sweet song of summer.
Whilst your berries macerate, let’s talk tea! This is not a sponsored/partnership post with David’s Tea, I just happen to be a big fan and we have an enormous collection of their products from teas and tisanes to cups and tea pots. When I say and enormous collection, I’m not being cute. At last count we had over 80 of their varieties! So when I was dreaming of making my Strawberry Tiramisu dreams come true, it was a no brainer to look to a summery strawberry infusion like David’s Strawberry Lemonade. It’s bright and fresh and has a genuine, juicy strawberry flavor to it. Amazing when served over ice or as we used it here, brewed strong and cooled slightly in place of the coffee that is usually in tiramisu. Usually tiramisu has a boozy component. I left that out of this adaptation so it was kid and non-drinker friendly, but if you wanted to give this recipe a little lift you could certainly spike the tea with a strawberry liqueur, a dash of limoncello or even St. Germain, which has that delicate elderflower flavor that is very complimentary to strawberry.
As your tea infusion cools, prepare the remaining elements of Strawberry Tiramisu: the lady finger sponge and the cream. The cream should be softly beaten, just enough to have some volume but not stiff or dry. Lay out your (store-bought) ladyfingers in a dish. If you’re really ambitious, you can make your own, but do you really want to put on the oven? Besides, commercially prepared ladyfingers are so perfectly airy and crisp, you take no chances that they will drink up enough of beautiful rosy red tea you have brewed for them.
Drizzle the cookies with half the tea, slather on half of the cream, spread all the berries on the cream, stack more lady fingers, drizzle the rest of the tea, finish with the remaining tea and zest a bit of lemon on top for interest an flavor. After a couple hours in the fridge, you’ll be scooping into the soft, delicate, creamy heaven that is Strawberry Tiramisu.
makes 12 servings
2lb fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
4 Tbsp liquid honey, divided
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp loose strawberry, or other flavor, herbal tea – steeped in 1½ cups boiling water* If you’re using tea bags, use 2 so it’s nice and strong
about 30 lady finger sponge cookies (this will depend on the dish you use – I used a 9×13 pan)
2 cups whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 tsp vanilla
lemon zest for garnish
* if you are adding alcohol, steep your tea in ¾ cup of water and top up with up with ¾ cup liquor of your choice, based on taste.
Macerate the strawberries in half the honey and the lemon juice, set aside.
Make the tea and allow to cool while you whip the cream.
Assemble the Strawberry Tiramisu by making a layer of lady fingers in your dish, you may need to break a couple to fill in gaps. Dribble/pour over half of the tea. The lady fingers will wick up the liquid, they should not be sitting in a puddle.
Stir the remaining honey into the whipped cream and spread half of it over the dampened lady fingers.
Add all of the strawberries in one layer, distributing them evenly over the cream.
Repeat with the remaining lady fingers, tea and cream.
Garnish with zest from ½ a lemon.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve cold. Leftovers will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator.