Here are all the secrets to make homemade ladyfingers recipe! You will find out that homemade Ladyfingers are easy to make and taste much better than the ones you usually buy! Only three ingredients for a great biscuit. Try this step by step recipe!
Homemade Ladyfingers or Savoiardi are typical biscuits of Italian pastry. Savoiardi are the very famous biscuits, popular all over the world, called “Ladyfingers” for their elongated shape that resembles the fingers of a lady.
Savoiardi biscuits were created by the chef of the Savoy family in honor of the royals of France visiting the court. Hence their name. They were a great success and quickly spread throughout the Savoy territories.
Only three ingredients for homemade ladyfingres recipe: eggs, flour and sugar. Homemade Ladyfingers have a golden color, with a crumbly spongy consistency, covered with a delicious crunchy crust! Delicious with a good coffee, they are often used to make spoon desserts, first of all the famous traditional Italian Tiramisu. They are even perfect with pudding or creams such as Pastry Cream or Mascarpone Cream.
Like any traditional Italian recipe, there are different versions. Some make homemade ladyfingers with flour, others with a mixture of flour and potato starch (as in this recipe), which makes them softer. The use of flavorings, such as lemon, vanilla or liqueur, is subjective and entirely optional.
The important thing of this recipe is to perfectly beat the egg whites so that the mixture is frothy and compact. Freshly baked homemade Ladyfingers have a consistency very similar to a sponge cake. After cooling they tend to harden, taking on a lighter, puffed and crunchy consistency like those you usually buy.
Follow this homemade ladyfingers recipe with all the tips and tricks and you will get some delicious homemade Savoiardi!
Homemade Ladyfingers recipe
- 2 LARGE whole eggs
- 60 g (2 oz) of sugar
- 40 g (1,4 oz) of “00” flour
- 20 g (0,7 oz) of potato starch
- 1 grated lemon peel (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar to sprinkle
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to sprinkle
Homemade Ladyfingers Recipe: Kitchen Tools and Equipment
Essential for the success of the recipe is a good electric electric stand mixer such as KitchenAid Artisan Series, like the one used to make ladyfingers in this recipe. You can also use a hand mixer to perfectly beat the egg whites.
A pastry bag with a smooth and wide tip is essential to give the right shape to the biscuits.
Useful could be a large cookie jar with an airtight seal. In fact, if properly stored, ladyfingers remain fragrant for up to two weeks.
Step 1) – Separate the yolks from the whites. Put the first ones aside and, with the help of an electric stand mixer or an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites for a few minutes at maximum speed. When the whites start to get stiff, add the sugar. Keep to beat the egg whites until you get a very firm, shiny and hard meringue. This is important: you have to create a mixture that you can place into the pastry bag and can be molded perfectly. If you beat the egg whites too little, the dough will be too soft. The biscuits dough just placed on the baking sheet with the sac a poche immediately lose shape and volume, the dough will expand and you will end up with a real crap. So, IMPORTANT: whip the egg whites until super-stiff!
Step 2) – Now beat the egg yolks with a fork and add them to the whipped egg whites, stirring with a spatula, moving from the bottom upwards. The more air you will be able to incorporate during processing, the softer, lighter and more perfect the ladyfingers will be for soaking in coffee or liquors in your recipes.
Step 3) – Then add the sifted flour and potato starch, together with the lemon peel or other flavoring of your choice (optional), and mix until you get a homogeneous mixture.
Step 4) – Place the mixture in a pastry bag with a smooth and wide tip, and form sticks of about 10/12 cm (about 4/5 inch) on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. During cooking the ladyfingers will expand and swell a little, so it’s important that they are spaced apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle Savoiardi ladyfingers first with the granulated sugar and then with the icing sugar.
Step 6) – Bake at 200 °C (390 F) for 7 minutes. Open to let the steam out and cook for another 2 minutes. Let them cool well before using your homemade Ladyfingers for your recipes. For example serve ladyfingers biscuits with pastry cream or simply with a good coffee. They are perfect to make Tiramisu.
How to store Homemade Ladyfingers
You can keep your homemade ladyfingers, perfectly even for 15 days, in an airtight box or in a cookie jar with lid. However, we recommend that you leave them in the open air at least 1 day before storing, so that they harden slightly and don’t stick to each other.
If you want a consistency more similar to packaged Savoiardi, therefore harder and crunchy, perfect for soaking, just leave them in the air for a couple of days.
Savoiardi Ladyfingers: the Italian Biscuits with Royal Origins
Savoiardi have very ancient origins. They were born in the late Middle Ages in the Piedmont region at the time of the Savoy kingdom.
The chef of the court of Amedeo VI made them for a sumptuous lunch, organized in honor of the royals of France.
Thanks to the success they had in that famous lunch, they “officially” attribuited these biscuits to the Royal House of Savoy.
A sixteenth-century recipe indicates its composition: “They are made with a little flour, egg white and sugar”. These are the ingredients of “El Biscotin” in Piedmontese dialect, that is “The Small Biscuit”. Widespread in all areas of Savoy influence especially in France. We can find Savoiardi biscuits mentioned in the Dumas cooking dictionary and in Sardinia.
The Sardinian Savoiardi
Among the local Italian pastry traditions, one of the best known versions of Savoiardi is the Sardinian one. In Sardinian Dialect the Ladifingers are called “Pistoccus” or “Pistokkus” or “Pistokkeddus”.
They call them also Savoiardi di Fonni, from the town that is best known for this recipe. The town of Fonni, in the province of Nuoro, is a small mountain town. The climate is cooler than in the rest of the island and… they make Savoiardi so good that they have become famous.
Traditionally in Sardinia they serve Savoiardi together with a good coffe, especially during wedding, baptism or family celebrations. For this reason the Sardinians call them “Pistoccus de caffei”.
The Sardinian Savoiardi compared to the traditional one is slightly larger and more flattened. Sometime they add a spoonful of honey in the dough.