Thursday, April 19, 2012

Joan's Frozen Lemon Mousse

Joan's Frozen Lemon Mousse
Source: Maida Heatter's Pies & Tarts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997), pg. 246 and Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts (Knopf, 1982), pg. 447.

This delicious dessert is easy but it helps to have everything you need ready in advance. You will need your mixer bowl 3 separate times. The bowls and beaters should be chilled for whipping the heavy cream and I usually chill my bowl for the egg whites as well. The recipe calls for the crust to be pressed up the sides of the pan which, as you can see in the photos, I forgot to do. This caused the base of the crust to be very thick. 

One of Michael's all-time favorite desserts is a simple frozen pie made with frozen lemonade mixed with whipped cream in a graham cracker crust. This dessert reminded me of that one but perhaps not as tart. You will need to make it a day ahead or you can make it up to 2 weeks in advance.

(In case you are wondering who Joan is, she is Joan Borinstein, a friend of M.H.)

1 12 oz. box vanilla wafers
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Butter the sides only of an 8 x 3 inch springform pan. 

Place vanilla wafers in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade
Pulse the wafers into fine crumbs. Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs; mix thoroughly until completely blended
Use about 1/4 of the mixture at a time and press firmly on the bottom and sides of the pan. (I did not do this correctly, see my intro notes above)

4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (grate the rinds before squeezing)
Finely grated rind of 3 or 4 lemons
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Beat the egg yolks until they are pale.
Add 1/4 cup of the sugar (reserving the remaining 3/4 cup). Beat at high speed for a minute or two.
On low speed, gradually add the lemon juice, scraping the bowl and beating only until smooth.

Stir in the grated lemon rind
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold a soft shape.Reduce the speed to moderate and gradually add the reserved 3/4 cup of sugar, adding only 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time. Increase the speed to high again and continue to beat until the whites and sugar become thick and marshmallow-like. Do not beat until stiff. Set aside.

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the heavy cream until it holds a firm shape but not until it is stiff. (It helps to have lots of mixing bowls to make this!)
In several small additions fold the yolks into the whites. Then, in several additions, fold the yolks and whites into the whipped cream.
Pour into the crumb-lined pan.
Smooth the top. Freeze for a few hours until firm. Then cover airtight with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Freeze overnight or up to 2 weeks.

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