lemon curd mousse

A belated happy New Year all. I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season. I had a lovely Christmas with my family. Christmas really is one of my favourite times of the year. However, between all the Christmas cooking/baking, an old neck injury playing up again (ouch) and the fact that I was still working over the holiday period, I needed to take a holiday from something…so I took a couple of weeks off from my blog.

But my break is over and it is now time to get back to the baking and blogging, and what better recipe to start the year with than one of my all-time favourite desserts. I first tried this recipe from Gary Mehigan’s book Comfort Food a few years ago after meeting him and getting a signed copy of his book at a food show. This recipe includes my favourite lemon curd recipe that I often make on its own (it makes a great gift) and have written about previously. I’ve wanted to make the mousse for my blog for some time, but have been waiting for a reason to make it. I knew if I made it solely for the blog that I would end up eating too much of it myself! So when I was invited to a friend’s pre-Christmas dinner, I offered to bring dessert and knew it was time for this dish to make an appearance again. After all, the spicy gingernut crumble is reminiscent of ginger bread so that makes it Christmassy, right?

The gingernut crumble is quite easy to make, however you could always replace it with crushed bought ginger biscuits if you want to skip a step. The original recipe called for ground star anise, but I don’t like aniseed flavours so I have replaced it with mixed spice. Like most desserts I cook for dinner parties, this can be made ahead. The curd is best made at least the day before (or the morning) you want to use it so it has time to cool. The crumble can also be made a day or two ahead of serving. I have made the mousse up to a day before serving and it has still been great. It is always good to know you have dessert ready to go on the night with no stress.

This recipe is a cross between a mousse and a cheesecake. The tartness of the lemon cuts through the richness of the cream cheese and the sweetness from the condensed milk, with the crumble adding great spice and texture. It really is one of my favourite desserts.

Lemon Curd Mousse with Gingernut Crumble

Serves 6

Ingredients

Mousse

  • 150ml of lemon curd (see recipe below or buy a good quality/tart lemon curd)
  • 150g cream cheese – at room temperature
  • 250ml double cream
  • 200g condensed milk
  • 1 lemon – grated zest and juice
  • 1 lime – grated zest and juice
  • Gingernut crumble (see recipe below) and chopped pistachios to serve

Lemon curd

  • 180ml lemon juice (approximately 3-4 lemons)
  • Finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 5 eggs (59g eggs) – lightly whisked/beaten to combine
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter – chopped into cubes

Gingernut crumble

  • 65g unsalted butter – chopped and at room temperature
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of treacle
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 185g self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

Lemon curd

1.         Combine all the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Make sure you beat the eggs separately before adding to the other ingredients as it is difficult to beat them properly after they are added to the ingredients due to the butter cubes. If it isn’t mixed well enough you do risk getting some white specks of cooked egg whites in the end product. Don’t panic though if you do, you can always strain these out at the end.

2.         Cook the mix in the microwave for 6-8 minutes on medium power, stirring regularly until the mixture thickens. I stir the mix every 20 – 30 seconds. It may seem like it is never going to thicken, however around the 6-7 minute mark you will find it suddenly thickens very quickly.

3.         Strain the curd through a sieve after it has finished cooking and has thickened. Place in an airtight container or sterilised jars and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. To sterilise jars, wash them in warm soapy water, and then place in a low oven to dry. You will only need to use part of this for the mousse. Allow to cool in the fridge before using in the mousse.

Gingernut crumble

4.         To make the gingernut crumble, preheat your oven to 180C fan forced (200C without fan). Line a baking pay with baking paper.

5.         Beat the butter, sugar, treacle and egg yolk together in a bowl until combined (you can use a stand mixer, electric hand beater or do this by hand). Once combined, sift in the flour, bicarb, ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon. This is just to get rid of any lumps and combine the dry ingredients as they go in.

6.         Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until the come together to form a dough (it will be quite dry). If it is a bit sticky add a little more flour. Make the crumbs by pushing/rubbing the dough through your fingers over the baking tray.

7.         Bake for approximately 8 minutes (will depend on how large/small your crumbs are) until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, store in an airtight container until needed.

Mousse

8.         To make the mousse, whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl until soft and smooth (again, you can use a stand mixer, electric hand whisk or do this by hand – although it will take longer by hand). Once soft and smooth, add the cream and condensed milk and whisk until thick and creamy. It will get lighter (i.e. more mousse like) and creamier the longer you whisk.

9.         Once thick and creamy, add the lemon/lime zest and juice as well as the 150ml of lemon curd. Whisk for a few seconds more only.

10.       You can serve immediately or store in the fridge until you are ready to serve. To serve spoon (or pipe) the mousse into six glasses and top with the crumble and pistachios.

lemon curd mousse 2

Adapted from  Gary Mehigan’s Comfort Food
My cook book library – recipe number 6