A white cloth on grass laid with strawberry parfaits
Photography, Saghar Setarah

Strawberry Tiramisu With Marsala

A simple and delicious way to celebrate strawberry season.

I must confess, I like strawberry tiramisu better than the classic one, because it has a hint of acidity. If you feel creative, you could substitute the cookies with sponge cake, or other spongy, cookie-like things that would suck up liquid. Some even substitute mascarpone with other creamy cheeses or ricotta – but for me, honestly, the whole point of tiramisu is to have an excuse to eat mascarpone cream by the spoonful, with some other nice bits in between. -Saghar Setarah

A white cloth on grass laid with strawberry parfaits

Strawberry Tiramisu With Marsala

Food writer and photographer Saghar Setarah's recipe for tiramisu with marsala-soaked strawberries.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 4 eggs separated
  • 4 tbsp sugar see note
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 14 oz (400 g) mascarpone
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice optional
  • 16 ladyfinger cookies approx.


  • 1 lb 2 oz (500g) strawberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp sweet Marsala
  • 3 tbsp sugar


  • Hull the strawberries, then cut into quarters and place in a bowl. Dress with the lemon, Marsala and sugar. Cover and leave to macerate for at least 2 hours – or better still, overnight in the fridge – until the strawberries are sitting in a pool of sweet, slightly-tangy crimson liquid. Strain the strawberry liquid into a deep dish large enough to roll the cookies in, and set the strawberries aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and lemon zest using an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. No sugar grains should be felt if you rub the creamy mixture between your fingers. Gently mix in the mascarpone until smooth.
  • Using a clean whisk and a very clean bowl, whip the egg whites until white and stiff; adding a tablespoon of something acidic like lemon juice helps. In a circular movement, very delicately fold the egg whites into the mascarpone cream.
  • Set out six to eight nice-looking cups or fancy little glasses. Add a dollop of the mascarpone cream into the bottom of each cup, then spoon in some strawberries. Roll a cookie a few times in the strawberry juice and let it suck in the liquid at its leisure. Break the cookie into pieces so that it fits in the cup, pushing down a bit to fill any gaps. Add more strawberries, then a good dollop of mascarpone cream, and repeat. Before finishing with one last layer of mascarpone cream, gently tap each cup on your work surface to settle the ingredients, so that empty spaces are not left in the middle.
  • Cover each cup loosely with foil and chill in the fridge for about 4 hours before serving, so that the mascarpone cream sets. They are then best served straight away.


The simple ratio to remember for this recipe is 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons sugar, and 400 g (14 oz) mascarpone.

Saghar Setarah's Pomegranates and Artichokes cookbook cover in a light frame.

Excerpted from Pomegranates & Artichokes: Recipes and Memories of a Journey from Iran to Italywritten and photographed by Saghar Setarah. Reproduced with permission from Interlink Publishing.
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