Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fresh Lemon Mousse

My husband isn't a complainer.  He once broke his toe on the morning of our first day on a trip in New Orleans.  He did not say a single word to me about it and we walked all day around the city.  Not until evening when we got back to the hotel and he took off his shoes did I notice that his entire toe was black.  When I asked him why he hadn't said anything, he said there was nothing we could do about it and he'd be fine.  If this had happened to me you can bet I would have whined all day, hobbled along, and  likely spent most of my day sitting down, probably with a glass of wine to make me feel better ;).

So yeah, he isn't a complainer.  Unless I tried to make him a dish prepared with lemon.  Because he was apparently the only person in the world who loved food but didn't like lemon.  WAS.  Several dishes this past summer have cured him of this and Ina Garten's fresh lemon mousse is one of them.  

This is the perfect summer dessert.  Light and fluffy, creamy and tart....yum!  Perfect for a few sweet bites after a dinner and definitely works for entertaining too.  Make sure to serve it with some homemade whipped cream!  The mild sweet flavor of the whipped cream compliments the tartness of the lemon perfectly.

Fresh Lemon Mousse, adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
3 extra-large whole eggs
3 extra-large eggs, seperated
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
kosher salt
1 cup whipping cream
sweetened whipped cream

Whisk together the whole eggs, three egg yolks, 1 cup sugar and the lemon juice and zest in a large heat-proof bowl.  A glass bowl works nicely.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler effect.  Stir egg mixture with a wooden spoon until it thickens to a consistency like pudding.  Ina says this takes her 10-12 minutes but it has always taken me more like 20.  Don't worry if it is taking you a while, you are slowly cooking the eggs and once they cook it will thicken up I promise!  Once it is thickened remove the bowl and set it aside to cool for about 15 minutes.  Then place some plastic wrap directly on the surface of the of the mixture and put the bowl into the refrigerator for at least an hour or until completely chilled.  

Then put half of your remaining egg whites and a pinch of salt into your mixer and beat on high with the whisk attachment.  Add the remaining sugar and beat on high until the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks when you lift up the whisk.  Fold the egg whites into the cold lemon mixture until well combined.  Add you cream to the mixer (no need to clean it!) and beat on high until the cream, too, forms stiff peaks.  Fold that into the lemon mixture too.  Pour the whole thing into a souffle dish around 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep. I use one a little bigger so I can put a lid on it and keep it in the refrigerator for us to enjoy for a few days. If you are going to serve this at a party, pipe on some whipped cream to decorate.  (Something I need some work on!)   Or if it's just you and your honey... make up the whipped cream in a separate bowl and just put a dollop on each portion.  This way you'll have some left over for tomorrow night....hopefully.

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