Lemons are abundant in winter, so when I found myself last weekend with a lounge room full of teenage girls busily crafting for a fundraiser, a fridge full of lemons and eggs and a free afternoon, I decided to indulge myself and them.
The kids in our kitchen garden program have been ending their meal with this gorgeously tangy lemon mousse this week. It is a very simple recipe, although if you use a stand mixer like I do, and have only one bowl for it, there is quite a bit of bowl changing going on. The recipe is by Deborah Madison, who treats ingredients with a light touch that allows the produce to shine.
This dessert uses eggs and cream, two ingredients that tend to have a bit of a bad name, however provided I’m using organic, grass fed products, and keep the portion sizes on the small side, I’m happy to relax and luxuriate in the light-as-air texture and luscious deliciousness of this dish. But more on that in another post…
Luscious Lemon Mousse
Finely grated zest of two lemons
3 eggs, separated
120 mls lemon juice (I find the slightly sweet, soft skinned Meyer lemons are best for this recipe)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Whisk the egg yolks, then sieve them into a saucepan. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and about half of the sugar, and heat gently, stirring all the while, until the mixture thickens. Make sure it doesn’t boil or it will curdle.
Remove from the heat, and transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge (or freezer if you’re in a hurry) to cool.
When the curd has cooled, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they firm stiff peaks, then gradually whisk in the remainder of the sugar.
In another bowl, beat the cream until it, too, holds its shape, and set aside.
Take the curd, and whisk it until smooth, then ever so gently, fold through the egg whites, and then the cream.
Spoon into serving glasses, then pop into the fridge to chill thoroughly before serving.