Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lemon Mousse for a Sticky Hot Day

Do you ever have those days when it's gross and hot and sticky outside and you want something delightful for dessert but you don't want something heavy? Well about 2 weeks ago it was hot as two rats getting it on in a wool sock and we were having guests over for our regular Friday night dinner. We needed something for dessert and after hours, yes hours, of deliberation, I decided the one thing that I was craving was lemon mousse. I think I've had it once or twice before and it's always so light and fluffy and heavenly and what more could I ask for on such a hot night? 

I did a quick search online to see if I could find a recipe with ingredients that I had at home. I then came across a post from The English Kitchen blog where Marie (the author) had written about making a delightful Lemon Mousse. After reading her post, there was not a doubt in my mind that I could make the mousse and have it be exactly what we needed that night. 

Ladies and Gents, can I tell you how much I LOVED not only making this recipe but eating it? It was AMAZING! I topped the mousse with a few blueberries that I had picked up in Shelburne, Ontario, on my way home from visiting my high school music teacher and a dollop of whipped cream. Simple, delicious and the perfect dish! The mousse is creamy and airy and the tang from the lemon is just the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness!

Last weekend I also wanted to see if you could change things up and use a different citrus fruit and so I tried the recipe with oranges instead. I think I still prefer the lemon version but that could also have something to do with the fact that I forgot to add the butter to the recipe (THIS is why you don't cook while in a mad frenzy!). 

The orange mousse for a larger dinner party
Here is the recipe:

Lemon Mousse (as adapted from The English Kitchen)
Serves 4

the finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (185g)  caster sugar (I used regular sugar and things worked out just fine)
4 large eggs, separated
5 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, and cook over a low heat.  Stir constantly, cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon.  Whisk in the butter, piece at a time.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean and great free bowl, until stiff.

Fold half of the egg whites into the lemon mixture with a metal spoon, then fold in the remaining egg whites.  Divide amongst 4 serving dishes and chill until firm.  Serve with a small cake or crisp cookie on the side.

I hope you all are having a wonderful week :) 
Happy cooking! 


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