Food section recipe editor Jane Touzalin says this is the recipe that introduced her to mousse making. "I still have the copy I received years ago, handwritten on yellow legal-size paper, from a neighbor who didn't know its source but knew I would want to make it."
Servings: 6 - 8
- 2 tablespoons sweet white wine
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons) or lime or key lime juice
- 1 envelope (scant 1 tablespoon) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 eggs whites and yolks separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 lemons), or lime or key lime zest
- Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Place a large metal bowl in the freezer to chill.
In a medium pan over low heat, heat 1/2 inch of water until it begins to bubble around the edges but does not come to a boil.
In a small nonreactive bowl, combine the wine and citrus juice. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the liquid and let it sit for a few minutes to soften. Place the bowl over the pan of hot water and heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the gelatin completely. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the egg yolks with all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. If the mixture is cold, place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and continue to beat until it feels slightly warm to the touch.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the whites just begin to form stiff peaks. Set aside.
In the chilled bowl, using a hand-held mixer, whip the heavy cream until it is fluffy. Set aside.
To assemble the mousse, add the gelatin mixture to the egg yolk mixture and combine, then add the grated zest and combine thoroughly. Add a large spoonful of the beaten egg whites to lighten the mixture. Pour the lemon mixture down the inside of the bowl of whipped cream and gently fold in. When almost blended, fold in the remainder of the egg whites; continue folding just until all is evenly blended. Carefully transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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