Those who know me, know that I am neither a dessert eater nor a dessert maker. It therefore came as a bit of a shock while staying with my sister that I was tasked with making desserts three times in the course of the same number of days.
I had purchased a huge bag of Meyer lemons as I love them and can't find them here on the Cape so it was definitely lemon dessert tryout season! First, I made an absolutely disgusting lemon pudding cake from, according to my mother, a fail-safe recipe. The texture was such that you really didn't want to keep the first bite in your mouth, let alone swallow it. The second dessert was a passable Meyer lemon and orange blossom water version of Malahabia, a Lebanese cornstarch pudding. I got lucky third time around with this lemon mousse, which was stellar and very easy to make.
This serves four people generously.
3 lemons, preferably Meyer
4 eggs, separated
1 pint heavy cream
2 tsps of Cointreau, Limoncello, or rum
3/4 + 1/4 cup sugar
Grate the zest of the lemons and set aside.
Squeeze the lemons and strain out the seeds. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of juice,
Separate the eggs and set the whites aside.
Mix the yolks, a quarter cup of the sugar, the juice and 2/3 of the zest together.
Pour them into a saucepan and cook over very low heat for five to 10 minutes, stirring constantly so that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove this from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Beat the whites while gradually adding half a cup of the remaining sugar a few tablespoonsful at a time, until the whites are glossy and form soft peaks.
Spoon about a third of the whites into the now cool lemon mixture, and mix well. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the lemon mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream with the remaining sugar, zest and Cointreau until it forms stiff peaks.
Spoon the mixtures in alternating layers into four dishes or glasses, ending with a layer of the whipped cream. Chill before serving. Garnish with berries or a candied lemon slice.
Inspiration recipe, here.