This mousse reminds me of a super light key lime pie filling. It is tangy and just a touch sweet. The mousse is equally as tasty made with just lemons or limes, but I thought the combination gave it a more complex flavor, that tastes like fragrant key limes. The strawberries lend a perfect balance of flavor and texture to the summery dessert.
Make a lemon curd: In a non-reactive saucepan whisk together 4 eggs, 4 yolks (reserve the 4 egg whites), 3/4 cup sugar, salt, juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
The lemon curd is done when it is as thick as pudding and coats the back of a spoon or spatula.
Press through a fine mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the lemon curd is cool. Can be made a day or two ahead.
Whip the egg whites and remaining sugar until they reach stiff peaks.
Add 1/3 of the whites to the chilled lemon curd and mix to lighted the texture of the curd. Gently fold the remaining whites in.
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract, until stiff peaks.
Fold the whipped cream gently into the lemon mousse.
Fold just until the cream is smoothly incorporated.
Place the mousse into a piping bag and fill the jars evenly.
Start with very fresh and sweet berries. If they aren't as sweet as you like, you can add more sugar, or less if they are very ripe.
Mix the berries, sugar and liqueur in a bowl. Let the berries sit for at least 30 minutes, so they release some of their juices. Can be made several hours in advance.
Spoon the berries over the mousse.
They can be served immediately or refrigerated for several hours.
Zoë François, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day , studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She now calls Minneapolis her home, where she has worked with some of the top talent in the culinary world — Steven Brown, Andrew Zimmern and many chefs at the D’Amico company. In addition to writing, Zoë teaches baking classes and consults at restaurants. You can find her writing and recipe creations on Devour, on her baking blog, zoebakes.com and on the site, www.breadin5.com.