One of my family's favorite flavor combinations is citrus and berries. For this particular dessert, I was inspired by that flavorful duo and Tiramisu - another favorite. The blend here results in a creamy, tangy, tart, sweet, cool dessert that is perfect for hot summer days!
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
12 oz lemon curd
12 oz cream cheese, softened (I use reduced-fat "neufchatel")
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 package lady fingers (These are usually found in the bakery section of your grocery store.)
Your first step is to make the strawberry puree (while singing "strawberry puree" to the tune of "Raspberry Beret", because that's how I do it). In a small saucepan, bring the strawberries, sugar and water to a simmer, and cook for 5-6 minutes until the berries begin to break down. Set aside to cool. After it cools, puree the mixture; strain it and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a well-chilled metal bowl, whisk the whipping cream until bubbles
form. Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar; continue whisking until
the cream thickens and forms soft peaks. Set aside; keep chilled.
In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese until well softened. Add in the lemon curd, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until completely smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into this mixture.
In a clear glass trifle or punch bowl, place a layer of ladyfingers. Top with about a third of the strawberry puree ("the kind you find in a second-hand store...") and a third of the lemon curd mixture. Repeat layers twice more. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or more, until ready to serve.