Because i am involved Saturday and Sunday, i am making my Valentine's gift of a dessert for Christine on Friday night. I've lined a pie pan with ladyfingers, around the edge with the little arched ends, and brushed them all down with syrup from a can of Amarena Black Cherries. Oh, Amarena cherries, so potent and flavor-filled! Then i've mixed a baked vanilla custard up, poured it over, and it's baking. Some of the ladyfingers floated. Ah, well.
The cherries came to mind as a Valentine's gift - decadent, red, sweet, uncommon but also no risk on getting not quite right -- and were ordered from Amazon. And then, as i realized there was no shopping trip ahead, i ordered Italian ladyfinger cookies. I had pondered whether i would use sweetened and flavored Greek yogurt as a creamy thing, but the custard seemed like it would please Christine more.
As i was preparing this, i thought of banana pudding, which in the south involves vanilla wafers. 'Nilla wafers are, kinda sorta like ladyfingers. What was the proto custard cookie/biscuit desert? Was it before packaged cookies at the store? Tiramisu, it seems comes from the 1960s. In Google's ngrams, custard is far more common than cookie until 1964, pudding isn't surpassed until 1982. The linked article about banana pudding mentions trifle, and wikipedia's trifle history references the early 1800s as when the custardy creamy dish incorporated cookies, precisely "macaroons or ratafia biscuits." This history has the mid-1700s as when the baked good gets added.
Anyhow, i hope mine's edible. I cooked it in a water bath and it seemed done, but after cooling it seemed it might be uncooked in the middle. So, i cooked it some more. Very vanilla-y rubber, perhaps.
I did not grow up with these deserts, not that i remember. We had cookies, at Christmas and after school. Cakes with icing, ice cream, occasional pies.... Maybe Jello. I think any inclination for creamy desert was met with ice cream. Custards and puddings are things i'm discovering as an adult.