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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Strawberry Mousse

Late last summer I tried this at Betsy's house with strawberries from my garden. The recipe has been formulated to increase the flavor of the mousse when using supermarket berries which aren't always as strong in flavor as garden berries. I feel certain it will work with any fresh strawberries you can find.

I've recently tried it again. Like a number of Cook's Illustrated recipes, the end result is very tasty but the process is somewhat fussy and requires a lot of dishes and pans. In spite of that fact, make the mousse and be glad you've got a dishwasher.


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Strawberry Mousse


Source: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4-6

2 pounds strawberries, hulled (6 1/2 c)
1/2 c sugar
pinch salt
1 3/4 teas unflavored gelatin
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces and softened
1/2 heavy cream, chilled

Slice or dice enough strawberries to equal 1 cup (at least) and keep refrigerated until ready to use as garnish (or reserve enough for this purpose and cut berries just before serving).

Pulse remaining strawberries in a food processor in 2 batches until most pieces are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, although some larger pieces will remain and will be fine. Transfer chopped berries to a bowl and toss with 1/4 c sugar and salt. Cover bowl and let strawberries stand for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't clean your food processor but use it for future steps.

Strain the processed berries through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. You should have about 2/3 c juice. Measure out 3 T juice into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over juice, stir, and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Place remaining juice in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 3 T, about 10 minutes depending on the heat of your stove. Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin has dissolved. Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. (If your range is electric, you may place pan back on burner if you need the residual warmth to help melt the cream cheese.) Transfer mixture to large bowl. (If you want to cut down on dishes cook the juice in a medium saucepan and stir everything together in it.)

While reducing the juice, return the chopped berries to the food processor and process until smooth. Strain puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to remove seeds and pulp (you should have about 1 2/3 c puree). Add strawberry puree to juice-gelatin-cream cheese mixture and whisk until incorporated.

Using a mixer whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 c sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Whisk whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain. Portion into dessert dishes and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. (If chilled for longer than 6 hours, let mousse sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving).

Top with chopped or sliced berries. If you like the berries to be glazed with sugar, macerate them for 15 minutes or so before placing them on top of the mousse. Personally, I think this step is unnecessary and would make the dessert too sweet. 

2 comments:

  1. Mmm, wow, so mouth watering and I'm not even a strawberry lover! Is it 1/2 cup heavy cream?

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  2. Yes, it is heavy cream although whipping would work, too. I think heavy cream is a couple percentage points more fat, depending on brand. Take a look at the ingredient list sometime. I am surprised at all the additives in "cream".

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