Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lemon Mousse

We like to eat seasonally at Linderhof. Whether it is savory foods or desserts.

Desserts vary from rhubarb tarts to strawberry shortcake in spring, wild blackberry cobbler in June, apple tarts in October and pear crisps in November.

In February, we are a bit tired of apples and pears. Not every meal can end with chocolate. And so, we turn to citrus which is good and plentiful this time of year. We both love lemon -- lemon meringue pie, lemon tarts, lemon curd, lemon sorbet, lemon pot de creme. But we also love mousse and I was intrigued by this lemon mouse in the newest Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Back to Basics.
As always with a new recipe, I follow directions "to the letter" but I did get a bit creative when it came to serving. Ina put it in a souffle dish and decorated it with whipped cream and lemon halves. I chose to serve it from martini glasses, and, like Ina, I topped each with whipped cream and a lemon half.

It was a perfect dessert. Tart but sweetened by the mounds of whipped cream on top. A light dessert which is the perfect ending to a heavier meal.

It's a great recipe and perhaps next time I'll serve it in my souffle dish or in the individual souffle dishes. Always with a dollop of whipped cream on top and a lemon wedge. Perhaps next time, I'll gild the lily and candy the wedge. Perhaps next fall I'll make it with part of my Meyer lemon harvest.

Fresh Lemon Mousse
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

3 extra large whole eggs
3 extra large eggs, separated
1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
2 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
Kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup good bottled lemon curd, at room temperature
Sweetened Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Sliced lemon, for garnish

In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the mixture is thick, like pudding. (Change to a whisk when the mixture starts to get thick.) Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.

Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 T. sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Carefully, fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.

Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Fold in the lemon curd and pour into a 7 inch diameter, 3 inch deep souffle dish. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 cup cold heavy cream
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Place the cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into the pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.


Mary Bergfeld said...

Oh, my these look really good! I can't wait to try them.

Anonymous said...

Those look dreamy! You've reminded me to take a look at Ina's new book, and I simply forget everytime I'm surrounded by all those cookbooks at the bookstore.
I love, love lemon anything - and will give this a try.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

This sounds wonderful, and what a great idea to serve it in martini glasses! I'm going to try this recipe. Thanks for posting it. laurie

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love lemon and these look wonderful!