Lemon-Lime Mousse with Fresh Strawberries

Lemon-lime mousse with fresh strawberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I adore Key Lime Pie and order it as often as it appears on a dessert menu. Most of the time I’m disappointed. It is usually too sweet, not tart enough and the texture just screams gelatin. When I took a bite of this mousse it reminded me of a super light key lime pie filling. The best part is that it doesn’t actually require key limes, which have a short growing season and the bottled stuff just leaves me flat. The lemon-lime mousse is tangy, just a touch sweet, and it is so light, it melts on your tongue. The fresh strawberries lend a perfect balance of flavor and texture to the dessert. I put them in glass jars because the lemon-yellow mousse and lipstick-red strawberries are so pretty together I wanted to be able so see them. It is also the best way to bring dessert along to a pot luck or picnic. These jars are probably familiar to many of you who eat Bonne Maman French preserves that come in them. I save the jars and pretty checkered lids to reuse.

You can make this mousse with just lemons, or limes, but I thought the combination of lemons and limes gave the mousse a more complex flavor, that ended up tasting like the fragrant key limes. Zest the citrus first, then juice them.

Lemon-Lime Mousse:

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup juice and all the zest from the lemons and/or limes

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberries:

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced thin

1/4 cup sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

To make the mousse:

Whisking mousse ingredients | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a non-reactive saucepan whisk together 3 eggs, 3 yolks (reserve the 3 egg whites), 3/4 cup sugar, salt, juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 10 minutes.

Testing lemon curd for doneness | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The lemon curd is done when it is as thick as pudding and coats the back of a spoon or spatula.

Homemade lemon curd | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Press through a fine mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the lemon curd is cool. Can be made a day or two ahead.

Whipping eggs and sugar | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whip the egg whites and remaining sugar until they reach stiff peaks.

Folding whipped egg whites into lemon curd | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add 1/3 of the whites to the chilled lemon curd and mix to lighted the texture of the curd. Gently fold the remaining whites in.

Whipped heavy cream with vanilla | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract, until stiff peaks.

Folding cream into lemon mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Fold the whipped cream gently into the lemon mousse.

Lemon-lime mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Fold just until the cream is smoothly incorporated.

Piping mousse into jars | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place the lemon-lime mousse into a piping bag and fill the jars evenly.

Lemon-lime mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To make the strawberries:

Bowl of fresh strawberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Start with very fresh and sweet berries. If they aren’t as sweet as you like, you can add more sugar, or less if they are very ripe.

Lemon-lime mousse with fresh strawberries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Mix the berries, sugar and liqueur in a bowl. Let the berries sit for at least 30 minutes, so they release some of their juices. Can be made several hours in advance.

Spoon the berries over the mousse.

They can be served immediately or refrigerated for several hours.

Serve chilled.

Juiced lemons and limes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

My friend, Shaina Olmanson, is an exquisitely talented and creative blogger and has just written a book about ways of making gorgeous desserts in jars. Check out Shaina’s book Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine for more ideas.