Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lady Fingers

I love playing off the idea of tiramisu by adding seasonal ingredients and using ladyfingers for my base. I was excited to see that Epicurious has a recipe for homemade ladyfingers, as they are not terribly cheap. The recipe takes a little bit, but the result is worth the effort.

Ingredients: (from
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 30 minutes

2/3 cup sugar, divided
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Equipment: a pastry bag with 3/4-inch opening

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Beat yolks with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale yellow, then gradually beat in all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.

Beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, tripled in volume, and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 5 seconds to dissolve when beater is lifted, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until just combined (batter will be very stiff).

Beat egg whites with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks.

Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar in a slow stream, then beat until whites hold stiff peaks.

Stir one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spoon batter into pastry bag.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment, piping a dab of batter under each corner to secure. Pipe 2 rows of (3 1/2-inch-long) ladyfingers (12 to 16 per row) onto sheet, piping them so they almost touch. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Bake until pale golden, dry, and soft but springy to the touch, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet.

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Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)