Tag Archives: lemon mousse

Raspberry Lemon Parfaits

Donkey: You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!
Shrek: NO! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later.
(slight pause for reflection)  Donkey: Parfait’s gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!

That would be from Shrek (obviously), one of my favorite kids’ movies.  I had to add that quote in here because every time I say the word “parfait” in my head, I hear Eddie Murphy’s voice.

Back to the real world… Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a lovely Easter.  We certainly did here.  It was a crazy busy weekend of cooking, cleaning, baking, and making my first “professional” cake.  There are pics up of that on The Decorator’s Corner section of this blog (which, if you’ve never checked out, you should!).

We had lots and lots of yummy food.  The only regret I have this year is that I did not make more because we actually ran out of a couple dishes.  There’s a first for everything I guess.  But all in all it was a great Easter.

These parfaits were on my short list of desserts for Easter.  I ended up doing Mini Lemon Meringue Pies but I couldn’t not make these.  Just too cute!  Can you picture serving these at the end of a spring dinner party?  A birthday party/baby shower/graduation/Mother’s Day???  They’re sweet and light and perfect for this time of year.

And easy.  Did I say easy?  Because they are.  Well, once you have Lemon Curd sitting in your fridge that needs to be used anyway.  These are put together so quickly I did it yesterday morning while the kids were eating their breakfast at the island.

Now, I’m going to preface this by saying that I’ve made “real” fresh lemon mousse many times.  Technically, for it to be a real mousse you need whip up egg whites and fold them in, usually in conjunction with some freshly whipped cream.  I’ve done it that way and had it turn out awesome.

But there is always the concern about salmonella with the raw egg whites.  I won’t serve them to my children or a pregnant woman or anyone with a compromised immune system (all of whom are represented in our family right now).  So recently I tried substituting pasteurized egg whites (which are not good for whipping).  The mousse was turning out too slack.  I then accidentally over-whipped the cream just short of butter and was not being able to fold that in well, ending up with a lemon mousse resembling egg salad.

After that I said, “You know what, we’re just gonna grab the Cool Whip and call it mousse.”

What remains of my Easter centerpiece.  (Thanks Pinterest!)  I’ve been slowly tearing it apart Peep by Peep.

Anyway, here’s everything you need.  Some leftover Lemon Curd, some Cool Whip, Seedless Raspberry Jam, Fresh Raspberries, and Creme de Cassis (not shown).  Alternatively, you could use Chambord.  Creme de Cassis is Black Currant liqueur, Chambord is made from raspberries.  Chambord is a lot more expensive.  I’m sure it’s great, I’ve just never bought it for that reason.  And Creme de Cassis goes wonderfully with raspberries – so use whatever you’ve got!  Or, if you’re not the type to have those kinds of things on hand, you could just sub in a slip of juice (orange or cran-raspberry or something that will go well with raspberry and lemon).

Gently fold equal parts lemon curd and cool whip together.

I only made enough for one large parfait but this recipe very easily doubles/triples/whatever.  The original lemon curd recipe on this site makes about 3 cups so if you just made the lemon curd you could make a ton of parfaits.

Here it is all homogenous and whippy.  Nom.

Next, spoon out some seedless raspberry jam…

…and whisk it until it’s thin and syrupy.

Next, pour in a splash of liqueur.  About 3 parts jam:1 part liqueur.  Just enough to punch up the flavor a bit.

Now, find some pretty glasses.  I used martini glasses but you could use wine glasses (stemmed or stemless), old fashioned punch cups, double shot glasses for cute little Parfait Shooters… whatever!  Spoon in a layer of mousse and flatten out the top.

Next, spoon on a thin layer of the raspberry sauce, making sure you spread it out to the edges of the glass so the layer shows through when you cover it.

Spoon on another layer of mousse and carefully flatten it out to the edges being careful not to mix the layers.

Top with another thin layer of raspberry sauce and some fresh raspberries.  I like odd numbers for garnish.  It just looks better that way.

And there you have it!  Perfect with some shortbread cookies or all by itself with a spoon.  The perfect end to an elegant brunch, dinner, party, shower, or any springtime occasion!


Raspberry Lemon Parfaits

2 cups Fresh Lemon Curd (or bottled)

2 cups Cool Whip

1/4 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam

4 tsp Creme de Cassis or Chambord (or juice such as OJ)

12 Fresh Raspberries


In a medium size bowl, gently fold cool whip into lemon curd until no streaks remain.

In a small bowl, whisk jam until thin and syrupy.  Mix in liqueur.

In a pretty glass, spoon in a thick layer of lemon mousse and smooth the top.  Cover with a thin layer of raspberry sauce, spreading out to the sides of the glass.  Repeat.

Top with three fresh raspberries.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 4 Parfaits or 12ish Parfait Shooters.



Filed under Desserts

Fresh Lemon Curd

Easter bunny?

Yeah, I know.  Easter’s still like  a month away.  But Wegmans has beautiful pastel displays featuring the most glorious looking chocolates so it put me in the mood to start Easter planning.

I start early every year.  We host 20+ people so it’s kind of a must.

Oh, and those Easter decorations?  Been sitting in my kitchen since last Easter.  Once it got to be November and I still hadn’t figured out where to store them I figured at least they wouldn’t get lost in the basement, right?

Right.  So anyway, lemon curd.  Not the most appealing name, I know.  But it is so wonderful.  Bright and tart, not too sweet, not too sour.  It’s basically lemon meringue pie filling but better.  I made it for the first time a couple years ago. I folded meringue and whipped cream into it to make a lusciously light mousse.  Then I layered it with cubes of pound cake and fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries to make the most amazing trifle ever.

And did I mention how much cheaper it is to make at home than buy it in the little jars they sell at the store?  MUCH.  And I think we can use all the help in that area that we can get.

Here’s what we need to get started – 3 XL eggs, 3 XL egg yolks, a stick of butter, sugar, a teeny bit of salt, and a couple/few lemons.  My lemons were large so you may need more than two (up to four).  There are a ton of lemon curd recipes out there.  Some only use egg yolks, some don’t use butter, some use less sugar, etc.  This recipe is a combination of a couple that I’ve come across.

You’re also gonna need to set up a double boiler.  If you have a double boiler already, good for you, use that.  Otherwise –  it’s worth monkeying around a few minutes with different sized bowls and pots until you find two that work together well.  It’s important – you want to be able to put about an inch of water in the pot, set the bowl on top, and have the bottom of the bowl NOT be touching the water.  You also want the pot to come up the sides of the bowl high enough so that when you put your ingredients in they aren’t any higher than the pot line.  I know, that was awkwardly explained.  You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Now that we’ve got that figured out it’s time to zest our lemons.  Remove all the yellow zest without grating off the bitter white pith beneath.  And please, try try try not to zest your finger.  Owie.

NAKED LEMONS!!!  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

I don’t know about you guys but it drives me insane when I finish zesting a lemon and most of the coveted zest is hopelessly stuck in the zester.  I now keep a little toothbrush in my utensil drawer specifically for getting most of it out and into the bowl.

Next, we’re going to halve our lemons and squeeze out all the juice.  This is easier if your lemons are room temp.

There’s our lemon juice.  We should have 1/2 cup.  If you don’t have half a cup, squeeze another lemon until you get there.

Now, to our lemon juice and zest we’re going to add our egg yolks…

…our whole eggs, a pinch of salt…

…and a cup of sugar.

And we’re gonna whisk that all together.  Meanwhile, put an inch of water in your pot and set it over high heat.

Once the water is simmering, carefully set your bowl into the pot and turn the heat down to low.  We actually don’t want the water at a full boil (as the pic shows, I know, oops).  Double boiling is a gentle heating process.

Okay there.  See how my lemon mixture is right about at the line of the pot?  That’s good.  If it were higher, the mixture at the top wouldn’t be getting heated by the steam underneath.  Even with constant whisking that’s just inefficient.  This is good.  If I were making a larger quantity I’d need to grab a bigger pot and almost certainly a different bowl.  C’est la vie.

Now, we’re going to leave this on the stove, whisking (almost) constantly until it thickens.  The whisking keeps the curd from getting unevenly heated and lumpy.

And now, for your benefit, a quick bit of backstory (if anyone else just heard Doofenshmirtz’ voice in your head, cheers, you’re my kind of girl).

This is the point where I was sure I had done something wrong the first time I made it.  I watched a video where they said that this step would take about 10 minutes.  Ten minutes my butt.  It takes me just a bit over 20 to get the curd thickened.  I remember whisking and whisking, going waaaay, past the ten minute mark going, “I don’t know.  Is it thickened yet?  Is this the way it’s supposed to be?  It doesn’t look thick like when Tyler did it on the video.”  Trust me – when it thickens up – you’ll know.  It’s obvious.  This picture was taken at 20 minutes in.  Still thin and soupy as when we started.  But hot.  You’re almost there though you would never know it unless you’ve done this a few times.

Then suddenly, it changes.  And all is right in the world.  It becomes thick like hot pudding and paler in color.  You’ll be able to see distinct whisk marks in it when you stir.  Now, you can take it off the heat.  Hard part’s done!  Hooray!

Okay, last step.  Cut up the stick of butter into chunks…

…and whisk it into the curd, chunk by chunk until it’s all melted and incorporated.  Taste it now.  It’s totally divine.

As you can see, this recipe makes just a bit under 3 cups.  Now you can use the curd as a cake filling, a tart or pie filling.  You can mix it with meringue and whipped cream to make an awesome lemon mousse.  Or you can just eat it by the spoonful.  I made this yesterday in prep for a larger project which I shall share with you in a couple weeks in the Decorator’s Corner.  Until then –



Fresh Lemon Curd

3 extra large eggs

3 extra large egg yolks

zest of 2 lemons (at least 2 teaspoons but more is okay)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

a pinch of salt

1 stick of butter


Set up double boiler.  Put an inch of water in a pot.  Set a mixing bowl in the pot.  The bowl should sit high enough that it does not touch the water but low enough so that the lemon curd will sit below the level of the top of the pot.

Zest and juice lemons until you have 1/2 cup of juice.

Add whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt to lemon juice and zest.  Whisk to combine.

Set pot of water over high heat until simmering.  This will only take a couple minutes with an inch of water inside.  Once simmering, carefully place bowl on top and turn heat down to low.

Whisk (almost) constantly until curd thickens.  Expect this to take around 20 minutes.  When the curd thickens it will have the consistency of hot pudding and it will turn a more pale yellow.  Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the butter, a tablespoonful at a time, until melted and fully incorporated.

Use as you would wherever “bottled lemon curd” is called for.  Stays good in the fridge for 3 weeks.  Makes just under 3 cups.

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Filed under Homemade Ingredients, Sauces, Condiments, Dips etc.