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Barefoot Contessa Fresh Lemon Mousse

Barefoot Contessa fresh lemon mousse in a soufflé dish with the edges decorated with swirls of whipped cream and lemon slices.
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

Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 45 mins
6 servings
559 kcal


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


Make the lemon mousse

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.
  • 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 of 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.


What size dish should I use for a mousse?

A soufflé dish measuring 7 inches in diameter, 3.5 inches high (that's a 1-quart dish) will fit the amount of this recipe perfectly. You can also make individual servings. The amount will range between 6 to 10 servings, depending on your choice of vessel.