January 9, 2013

Meyer Lemon Mousse

It's the middle of Winter and after a full week of flu and unhappy fussing we were in need of a little sunshine. I usually save this recipe for February, a special Valentine's Day dessert, but I grabbed a pretty bag of Meyer lemons during our last grocery trip and felt compelled to use them up before week's end.

Lately, the kids have been adamant about helping me in the kitchen. When I begin lining up my ingredients, setting the oven, and rummaging for my tools, they come running. The feet of their little wooden chairs can be heard from across the house, sliding and scraping the floors as the boys push them from the playroom right up to the threshold where they both struggle to heft the legs up and over before slamming the slatted chair backs against the stove front to claim their cooking space. 

I've shared freely with the boys my love for food and making from scratch far before their memories will recall, but I know it all by heart. Preparing family meals and snacks happily consumes a large part of my day. The boys' involvement has been a product of both strategy and necessity. It slows down the process to have two bodies and four extra hands in the mix, but the food we create together always tastes the best. And an added bonus: Roscoe and Merritt are far more likely to eat the food they helped to prepare.

This lemon mousse is smooth and mellow. It is cream heavy but has an airy mouthfeel because of the meringue mixed in. We serve it for breakfast with eggs or french toast, as a sweet mid-afternoon snack that stands alone, or a quick dessert.

Meyer Lemon Mousse

*Modified from Ina Garten's Fresh Lemon Mousse


  • 3 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (7-9 lemons)
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream

In a double boiler (or 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. Bring water in double boiler to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is thick like pudding.

Take off the heat and set a aside for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until completely chilled.

Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny.

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

Place 1 cup of cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture.

Do the same with the other cup of cream, but this time add 1 tablespoon of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use this as a garnish or as a second layer atop the mousse as we do.


  1. Yumm! I wanted this when I saw your photo on Instagram...now I'm definitely going to make it! Such a refreshing treat!

  2. Mmm, this looks great! And I love the boys helping you in the kitchen. We let Hen "help" but not really help yet, he always goes straight for the hot burner when he breaks into the kitchen, so we usually baby gate him out.


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