Friday, August 14, 2009

Fresh Lemon Mousse

Once a month my girls and I have a poker night, no husbands, spouses, boyfriends or children. We generally tend to drink Margarita's, eat a yum dinner and there's is always a whole lot of laughing.

This month is my turn to bring dessert so I scoured my Barefoot Contessa cookbook and found the Fresh Lemon Mousse from her very first cookbook, aptly titled Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and made it.

Normally I would have been leary to make something like this, leary because you not only have to fold in whipped egg whites, and I am always afraid I'll fold too much and end up with runny mousse, but because you have 3 sets of folding to do. It is a five step process to make and I actually had to start over once because I accidently used the egg white instead of yolks in the first step, making the lemon custard. Ugh. I am making it sound like I am a scaredy cat in the kitchen, so not true, but this recipe was a challenge. So worth it though! Just look at it and when you taste it, lord have mercy. You know serve it with vanilla wafers, low brow it out a little and it would be just like a lemon pie. Mmmhhhh.

Fresh Lemon Mousse
Barefoot Contessa


3 extra-large whole eggs
3 extra-large eggs, separated
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons 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


Step 1:
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. (I 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.

Step 2:
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 tablespoons 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.

Step 3:
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.

Step 4:
Fold in the lemon curd, and pour into a 7-inch-diameter, 3-inch-deep souffle dish.

Step 5:
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 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon 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 still peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

You have to try this one- even if you only make it the one time. It is completely a summer dish and is going to go lovely with the other dishes the girls bring. Can't wait to eat it up tomorrow evening. XOXO.

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