Barefoot Contessa Fresh Lemon Mousse

Fresh Lemon Mousse Recipe

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is an essential element of my cooking. I almost always add the grated lemon zest because there’s even more flavor in the zest than in the juice. This is easy to make in advance and is delicious as a cool ending to a wonderful meal.–Ina Garten


My soufflé dish measures 7 inches in diameter on the top and 6 1/4 inches in diameter on the bottom.

Fresh Lemon Mousse Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 6


  • For the lemon mousse
  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup good bottled lemon curd, at room temperature
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • Sliced lemon, for garnish
  • For the sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Make the lemon mousse
  • 1. In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
  • 2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the mixture is thick like pudding. (I change to a whisk when the mixture starts to get thick.) Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • 3. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.
  • 4. Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Carefully fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.
  • 5. Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Fold in the lemon curd and pour into a 7-inch-diameter, 3-inch deep soufflé dish.
  • Make the whipped cream
  • 6. Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • 7. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.
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  1. I made your lemon mousse. It was good but the lemon curd never seemed to soften. It was like hard jelly and wouldn’t blend in. Do you have a suggestion on a better brand? The brand I used was at room temperature. I had just bought it at the store. I am hoping to do it for a baby shower next weekend.

    Thanks you for your help.

    Pam Cady

    1. Hi Pam, I have a couple of ideas that might help. You could give the lemon curd a good stir or you could take a bit of the whipped cream and combine it with the lemon curd. Both of these would loosen the curd and make it easier to incorporate into the mousse. Any good quality lemon curd is fine for this recipe or you could make your own.

  2. I am hoping to make this Lemon Mousse on Thursday.
    Would the recipe work if I simmered the egg whites in a double boiler while whisking them?
    I have done it before in a chocolate mousse recipe.
    – It’s just that I prefer the egg whites cooked if possible.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Terayz, we didn’t test the recipe using cooked egg whites so I can’t guarantee the result. That being said, if you have tried this method before for another mousse, it should be fine. Let us know!

  3. When time to whip the egg whites the video says use half the egg whites!!!! Aren’t there only three whites that were separated? Are you saying we should use 1 1/2 egg whites?

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