This dessert combines a light-as-air citrus mousse with ruby red macerated strawberries in a colorful treat that perfectly balances sweet and zesty flavors.
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Sometimes I think my family could win at a strawberry eating competition. Over the summer, they’re a staple at breakfast, a go-to snack, and a dessert of choice. We devour baskets after baskets like our lives depended on it. Here in Quebec, the height of the strawberry season is in early July, but we’ll get local strawberries way into the fall. Fall varieties are considered by many to be even more flavorful, sweeter and juicy than their earlier counterparts. To be honest, I love any and all local strawberries, whatever their variety, which is why I indulge with abandon all through the strawberry harvest season.
Although I’ll gladly turn strawberries into a host of different treats, such as gelato, compote, pies, quick breads, and even buttercream, I often favor using strawberries fresh as opposed to cooked or baked to preserve their juicy nature and delicate texture. This verrine balances the sweetness of the berries with the tanginess of citrus in a flavor combination that can simply be described as heavenly. The citrus mousse is light as a cloud and the maceration process turns the strawberries into flavor bombs. I like to enjoy this citrus mousse with butter cookies or langues-de-chat, which should generously be dipped in the delicious concoction.
Helpful Tips for Making Citrus Mousse with Macerated Strawberries
Go organic, if you can: You’ll be using a lot of citrus zest in this recipe, which makes it worth buying organic fruits. Pesticides and other insect deterrents coat the peel of citrus fruits, so if you can’t find organic citrus fruits, make sure to scrub their peel thoroughly under running water, ideally using a soft brush, before using. (Make sure to wash organic fruits clean, too!)
Get ahead—but not way ahead: This recipe can be made in stages. You can make the citrus curd up to 4 days ahead, then fold the whipped egg whites and cream into the curd up to a day in advance. You should only macerate the strawberries up to 1 hour before serving though, or they will discolor and turn mushy.
Make this dessert year round: Although this dessert is most delicious if you use seasonal strawberries, you can make it year round, too. Maceration is a quick and easy process that concentrates the flavor and sweetness of berries. You’d be surprised at how bleh winter berries can be saved this way!
1lb454 g fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced
1/4cup60 ml granulated sugar
1tbsp15 ml orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, optional)
1tbsp15 ml minced fresh mint or basil leaves
Additional fresh mint or basil leavesoptional
For the Citrus Mousse: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3 eggs, 3 yolks (reserve the 3 remaining egg whites in a small bowl), 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the sugar, as well as the salt, citrus juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat while whisking constantly until the mixture thickens like pudding, 8 to 10 minutes.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped egg whites into the chilled citrus curd and mix to lighten the texture of the curd. Gently fold the remaining egg whites in.
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the citrus mousse until fully incorporated. Refrigerate while the strawberries macerate. (The citrus mousse can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a day. Fold again to loosen the mousse before using.)
For the Macerated Strawberries: In a bowl, toss together the strawberries, sugar, liqueur, and mint or basil in a bowl. Let rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
To Serve: Divide the macerated strawberries between 8 glasses, glass jars, or small cups (each about 1/2 cup/125 ml in size). Top up with citrus mousse, then garnish with fresh mint or basil leaves, if desired. Serve immediately, or within a couple of hours (refrigerate until service).
Did you make this?
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