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Pistachio Tiramisu

This dessert really is a delicious pick-me-up!

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You might know what tiramisu is but do you know what it means? It translates to “pick me up” or “cheer me up.” This could be because of the espresso-soaked lady finger cookies or simply that eating a dessert this good would cheer anyone up! I’ve got a beautiful pistachio tiramisu designed for enjoyment. It’s a treat that’s well worth the effort, although there’s not much effort at all!

Lady fingers, espresso, cocoa powder, coffee liqueur, and mascarpone whipped cream are the typical ingredients of a tiramisu. I’m making a couple of tweaks to give the tiramisu both a familiar and a unique taste. My version will make a pistachio-flavored mascarpone whipped custard. Instead of coffee liqueur, I use marsala wine. Marsala wine is a match of flavors to the pistachios. It’s got notes of honey and vanilla and even a hint of nuttiness that pairs deliciously with the sweet and nutty flavor of pistachios. I’m leaning on tradition but making a few changes with this version of the famed Italian treat.

What makes a tiramisu so elegant is both its flavors and its layers. A typical tiramisu has a pattern of layers. Lady fingers soaked in coffee (I’m using strong-brewed coffee rather than espresso), followed by a layer of whipped mascarpone cream and a dusting of cocoa powder is the usual formula. No cocoa powder this time; this time, pistachio gets to be the featured player.

I top these coffee-dredged cookies with half of the mascarpone-pistachio custard. That’s layer number one, and I’ll simply repeat the same process for layer number two and garnish with crushed pistachios. The dessert goes into the refrigerator to set up. I suggest at least one hour but ideally overnight for the tiramisu to achieve its true greatness.

A tiramisu is built to impress. Its beautiful layers and luxuriously rich flavors make it elegant but it’s also really simple to make. I love everything that’s going on here, from the pistachio custard to the strong coffee to the crunchy chunks of crushed pistachios. There’s just something so special about a tiramisu. I totally understand the concept of “pick me up!” Pistachio tiramisu is just the dessert to lift the spirits.

Yield(s): Serves 12

15m prep time

1h inactive

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100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup pistachio cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ¼ cup mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons marsala wine
  • 36 lady finger cookies
  • 3 tablespoons crushed pistachios
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow and ribbony. Fold in the mascarpone, 1/3 cup pistachio cream, vanilla, and almond into the egg yolks.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold together yolks and whites until combined. Set aside.
  4. Pull a serving tray that can fit up to 18 lady fingers in one row, breaking some to fit into the tray.
  5. Combine the coffee and marsala wine in a mixing bowl.
  6. Dunk each dry lady finger in the mixture and arrange in the serving tray until you have one uniform bottom layer. (If making this fast, dunk the lady fingers twice as long.)
  7. Drizzle half of the egg custard mixture over the lady fingers, then dust with cocoa powder.
  8. Repeat steps with lady fingers into the custard, then top with remaining custard and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight for best results.
  9. Remove from the fridge and top with chopped pistachios. Slice & Enjoy!