Saturday, February 12, 2011
Lemon Mousse Parfaits
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...There are two camps within the legions of dessert lovers. One is fanatically devoted to chocolate, the other to lemon. This week is dedicated to those who profess lemon to be their chocolate. First up, is a lemon mousse-like parfait that is creamy, tart, and as good looking as it is delicious. The parfait, developed by Sally Tager for Gourmet magazine, is a wonderful way to end a company meal. It's also marvelous for family celebrations and holidays. This is a custard-type dessert that's lightened with whipped creamed. The thought of lightening anything with whipped cream is an absurdity I know, but this is just one of many oxymorons we deal with each day of our lives. A whipped topping can be substituted for the heavy cream if you wish, but it will change the texture of the parfait and it won't be quite the same. This is easy to make and all the ingredients you need to make it can be found in your neighborhood grocery store. There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to try these. Separate your eggs when they are cold, but whip them when they are at room temperature. When beating cream, the bowl and beaters you plan to use are should be well-chilled. I put mine into the freezer 30 minutes or so before I plan to beat the cream, which coincidentally, should also be icy cold. When zesting your lemons make sure to avoid the white pith. These parfaits are very tart, but only the lemon pith can make them bitter. They can also be made and frozen a day before serving, but if you want a creamy, mousse-like texture place them in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes before dessert is served. Lemon enthusiasts, prepare to be wowed by this easy and delicious treat. Here's the recipe.
Lemon Mousse Parfaits...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Sally Tager and Gourmet Magazine
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided use
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup very cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1) To make the custard: Combine lemon zest and juice, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan, whisking to combine. Over moderate heat, cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches 160 - 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Transfer to another bowl to cool.
2) To beat egg whites: Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add reserved 1/2 cup sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat on high speed until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks, about 1 minute. Fold meringue into cooled lemon mixture.
3) To beat cream: Place icy cold cream in a chilled bowl and beat with clean chilled beaters until soft peaks form. Add confectioner' sugar and beat at medium speed until stiff peaks are formed. Fold Cream into lemon mixture.
4) To assemble: Divide mixture among eight (8-ounce) stemmed glasses. Freeze, covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with additional lemon zest, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.
Cook's Note: Parfaits can be frozen for up to one day. Frozen parfaits should be transferred to refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before serving.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lemon Blackberry Souffles - Baking Bites
Lemon Pie - Katy's Kitchen
Meyer Lemon Tart with Lightened Lemon Cream - Food Lover's Odyssey
Lemon Tart Brulee - Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy
Lemon Cakes - Pastry Studio
Lightened Up Lemon Bars - Half Baked
Old Fashioned Lemon Pudding - One Perfect Bite
Lemon Pound Cake - One Perfect Bite
Lemon Cloud - One Perfect Bite
Lemon Buttermilk Ice Cream - One Perfect Bite