Friday, April 30, 2010

Food Photo Friday - Lemon Mousse

Lemon is a big flavor in our house. Often senses are tied into memories, and I have a feeling that Avram loves the taste of lemon because it reminds him of his grandmother and how she lovingly made lemon mousse (by hand) for his bar mitzvah. I love lemon too, so it's a good thing all around (and I'm kind of glad to have a mixer... ) :)

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch salt
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup parve milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup parve whipping cream, whipped
lime slices or other garnish (optional)

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and parve milk; stir into sugar mixture. Add juices; whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate until completely cooled. Fold in parve whipped cream. Spoon into individual dishes. Garnish with lime slices or other garnish as desired.


efrex said...

Ooh, yummy! I'm a huge lemon/citrus fan, so this is right up my alley.

Because I'm not allowed to comment on a recipe without thinking of variations (I'm a guy: directly following the manual does not come naturally to me):

1) For those looking for a somewhat lower-calorie version of this (the nutritional information panel on a carton of Rich's whip is not for the faint of heart), you can try beating the 3 egg whites with the sugar and salt until stiff, and then folding the meringue into the mixture, either with the whipped cream or as a substitute. It won't be as rich, but it'll be lighter in texture. (It'll also serve more).

2) For more lemon flavor, grate the lemon zest and add to the yolk/juice mix before cooking.

G6 said...

OK efrex -

Full disclosure time.
The original recipe did in fact call for both lemon AND lime zest, but I omitted them because I have this "thing" about pesticides in/on citrus peel.

My next thought is to try to make some sort of "half and half" (either layered or side by side) dessert with this recipe and a strawberry/rhubarb concoction. Who's coming for dinner? ;)

BLD said...

There's more plates there than actual lemon!

G6 said...

Are you familiar with the expression that to a large extent -
"People eat with their eyes" ?

efrex said...

C'mon - a little DDT in the system builds character!

Seriously, though: citrus zest adds so much flavor that I'd hate to leave it out. If you're near a farmer's market, you can probably find pesticide-free citrus.

Another possible fun variant: add a sprig or two of rosemary to mix before cooking, and remove it before adding the whipped cream.

Okay, I'm gonna stop now before I drool on my keyboard and short it out... :)

Anonymous said...

I have tried something like this before - how do you get it so the eggs don't cook? I tried tempering them but I still ended up with "chocolate pudding and scrambled eggs!"

efrex said...


Instead of putting the pot directly on the stove, try mixing the yolks in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly, and you should get the mixture to thicken without curdling.

G6 said...

Anonymous and efrex -
I had no trouble with this recipe straight over a low flame with constant whisking.

efrex said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh! I get to pontificate on science and cooking at the same time! If only there were some way I could throw in a long-winded diatribe on current Washington Heights politics...

*ahem* (Please imagine me doing my best Alton Brown impersonation)

By heating the egg yolks, you're denaturing the long-stranded proteins in the egg, causing them to curl up and thicken. Too much heat, and the proteins ball up and solidify. By keeping the heat as low as possible and whisking constantly, you s-l-o-w-l-y and consistently transfer heat to the yolks, so that you're monitoring the process carefully. Using a double-boiler-type system (the bowl-over-water deal), you're tranfering heat even more slowly (less dense steam at 100ÂșC has less heat capacity than the water at the same temperature, dontcha know?), making it even less likely that you're going to wind up scrambling your dessert.

Another thing: the lemon juice in this recipe acidifies the mixture, and "stiffens" the proteins so that they don't curl as easily. As a result, it's a bit more forgiving than a chocolate mousse-type recipe. If you don't like lemon (heretic!), some wine will also do the trick (in which case, you can really pretend to be fancy and call the dish "zabaglione")

In short (WAY too late, I know): low heat + constant whisking + acid = smooth results.

G6 said...

Oh boy efrex -

That Alton Brown impression was creepily accurate. Who'd have thought that one could even do an impression when one cannot be seen and/or heard?

Slap on the wrist for mentioning WH politics. There's enough of that still raging here.

Re your appreciation for the synthesis of cooking and science - We **MUST** be separated at birth. Two of my greatest passions!

Since you were kind enough to lend me items from your library, if you ever want to borrow this book, you are more than welcome as long as you get it back before I go into withdrawal. Close to 900 pages of stuff that I cannot recommend highly enough.