Food escapades in modernist cuisine

Lemon Mousse

Whenever I'm looking for a go-to dessert to bring to a party or social gathering, I always pull out this lemon mousse recipe which has never failed as a crowd-pleaser. It's based on a recipe by Joanne Chang of Myers and Chang and Flour Bakery here in Boston. She includes ginger in her version, but it requires grating fresh ginger and letting it steep in the cream over night. Sometimes these party dishes are last minute decisions for me and I don't have the time, so I end up skipping that step. Even so, the results are incredible.

The first step is to essentially make a lemon curd. Juice around 8-10 lemons to yield around 1.5 cups of lemon juice and then combine that with 6 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a medium sauce pan.

While this mixture heats, I separately whisk 6 large eggs, 3 large egg yolks, and 1.5 cups sugar in a medium sized non-reactive bowl.

Once the eggs and sugar are smooth and the cream/butter/lemon mixture has come to a simmer, I gradually whisk the hot lemon mixture into the eggs. Be careful to do this slowly and temper the eggs. I then return the mixture to the pan and cook to a temperature of 175 degrees. A pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla are stirred in at the end.

The last step is to take around 3.5 cups of heavy cream and whip until firm. I typically use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to do this since it's incredibly easy and fast but you could alternatively use a portable mixer or simply whip by hand.

Once the heavy cream is whipped, fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd until well incorporated. This lemon mousse is absolutely delicious. Enjoy a bowl on its own or serve with cookies and a slice of cake. It honestly goes well on anything. The lemon gives a slighty tangy, citrus taste while the whip cream keeps the mousse smooth and light. Go make this now!


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