When left to my own devices, I default to my perfect 1 person dinner plan: I put a 1/2 cup of dry beans in a bowl of water to soak til suppertime. I truly adore beans and legumes more than most other foods. I do a quick peek to see if I have a bottle of sparkling wine chilling, all the better if it’s pink. I desperately try to make up my mind between corn bread or corn muffins as a side dish. My mind then drifts to dessert, because I know that after my solo dinner and a glass or two of bubbly, I’m going to crave something frozen for dessert. This frozen lemony mousse is exactly the type of thing I like to make for myself while the beans simmer away.
While this may be dessert for two, I often eat this entire dessert myself, spaced out over 2 days of course. On the days when I don’t mind a mess in the kitchen, I take the time to make the silky white chocolate sauce. If I’m not up for the extra dishes, I simply add another tablespoon or two of sugar to the whipped cream before folding it into the lemon curd. Easy peasy.
If you made my lemon meringue pie, this recipe is simply the lemon curd from that recipe (with a pinch of lemon zest tossed in) folded into some freshly whipped cream. The warm white chocolate sauce is gilding the lily, which we should do for ourselves more often than we do.
If you’ve never had a frozen mousse, think of it as the closest thing to ice cream that can be made without a machine. It doesn’t have the airiness that an ice cream machine provides, but it has the same scoopable texture.
For the mousse:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided use
- 1 whole large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
For the white chocolate sauce:
- 2 ounces real white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
- Begin by making your lemon curd: In a small bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter and 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat this mixture very well, until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the whole egg, beat until combined, then add the remaining egg yolk and lemon zest and beat well. Next, slowly stream in the lemon juice while beating. The mixture may look curdled, but do not worry.
- Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and cook over low heat while stirring continuously and scrapping the sides of the pan. When the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, in about 5-7 minutes, it is done. Remove from the heat, pour into a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface before placing it in the fridge to chill. (Can be made 1-2 days in advance).
- Once the lemon curd is fully chilled, oil 2 small 6-ounce ramekins, and then line them with several layers of plastic wrap---leave plenty of overhang for lifting the mousse out later.
- Next, beat the heavy cream and remaining 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar (use your taste buds to guide you) until soft peaks form. Fold in the lemon curd gently, taking care not to stir all the air out of the whipped cream. Streaks are OK.
- Divide the mixture between the two ramekins, cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
- When ready to serve, melt together the white chocolate and heavy cream til the sauce is pourable over a double boiler or in the microwave in short bursts. Lift the mousse cups out of the ramekins using the plastic wrap handles, then tip them onto a plate with a drizzle of white chocolate sauce and serve.
*If the mousse cups don't want to come out of their ramekins, let them rest on the counter at room temperature for a few minutes before trying again.