I’ve been making a lot of desserts lately.  I don’t know what it is, maybe attempts at baking help make me feel like a real  homemaker as I am not especially gifted at dishes or laundry.  I realize many of these tasks are detail oriented and time-consuming: exactly measuring ingredients, being sure to remove all those tiny food particles from dishes before putting them away, and sorting out whites from colors from towels.  Not my strong suit, I’m more of a big picture person.
This dessert, however, is different; it’s not fussy.  It has three main components (a custard, whipped cream, and beaten egg whites) that work together in pretty much any quantity.  You can prepare them in any order.  And then mix them together at any time.  Now we’re talking.  The result is described as “ethereal” by Molly Katzen in the cookbook, and I would agree.  It lacks the heavy, buttery denseness of most baked goods, and so makes a perfect accompaniment to them.  I served it with my Lemon Kas Kas Cake, but feel free to enjoy a spoonful whenever, directly out of the fridge, perhaps mid-morning sometime between dishes and laundry.
Lemon Mousse (from The New Moosewood Cookbook)
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons, in my experience)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 egg whites, room temp
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  1. Place cornstarch & sugar in small sauce pan, whisk in lemon juice & water (make sure you use a pan that can handle a whisk, most non-stick cannot)
  2. Cook over med heat, whisking constantly until thick – from 5-8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in lemon rind and bring to room temp (if you stir, this takes probably 10 minutes)
  4. Use electric beaters to beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold into cooled lemon mixture – chill at least one hour.
  5. Use same beaters (no need to wash) to whip cream until peaks form, but it is still fluffy.  Fold into chilled lemon/egg mixture.
  6. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.  It will last several days if tightly covered in the fridge (not in my experience.  If there is a spoon near by it doesn’t stand a chance!)