Cook the Book: Fresh Lemon Mousse Recipe

Cook the Book: Fresh Lemon Mousse Recipe

Traditionally, we like to end our heavy holiday meals with even heavier desserts. This year, consider staving off food coma with Ina Garten's tangy lemon mousse.

The recipe is not what you'd call light (it's made with heavy cream and garnished with more heavy cream), but beaten egg whites give the illusion of airiness. Plus, nothing cuts through a rich dinner like a sharp burst of citrus.

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  • Yield:6


  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup good bottled lemon curd, at room temperature
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Sliced lemon, for garnish
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. 1.

    In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

  2. 2.

    Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture is thick like pudding. (I whisk when the mixture starts to get thick.) Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.

  4. 4.

    Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed.

  5. 5.

    Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny.

  6. 6.

    Carefully fold whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.

  7. 7.

    Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.

  8. 8.

    Carefully fold whipped cream into the lemon mixture.

  9. 9.

    Fold in the lemon curd and pour into a 7-inch-diameter, 3-inch-deep souffle dish. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.

  10. 10.

    Sweetened Whipped Cream

  11. 11.

    Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks.

  12. 12.

    Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.