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8 Meyer lemons
3 egg yolks, at room temperature ⅓ cup granulated
1 (8-ounce) package mascarpone cheese
2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, then melted in a double boiler
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1-½ cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar, to taste
8 fresh mint leaves
lemon cups: Cut the top of the citrus, creating a little "hat". Using a sharp
paring knife, score the fruit inside into quarters. Using a grapefruit spoon,
scoop out the fruit until you reach the skin. Be very careful so the peel
doesn't tear. When you reach the skin, you could also pull the membrane for a
clean look. Gather the flesh and squeeze the lemon juice. Reserve about ½ cup
(you can make an Arnold Palmerwith the rest or a salad dressing).
Using a strainer, remove
the lemon juice pulp. Place the juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil,
then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer and heat for 3 minutes. The
liquid should reduce to about 1-2 tablespoons of concentrated juice. Remove
from the heat. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve one more time so
the mousse is silky.
With a handheld mixer,
whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a small stainless steel (or heat-proof)
mixing bowl until you get a pale, yellow foam.
Prepare a double boiler:
Fill a saucepan with water, making sure the water barely covers the bottom of
the stainless steel mixing bowl. I always like to add a little kitchen towel on
top of the saucepan. The bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of
water in your egg mixture. Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat to a
gentle simmer. Place the stainless steel bowl over the saucepan and, using the
handheld mixer, start whisking the egg mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes
to thicken the texture of the egg yolks. The mixture should fall like a ribbon
of sauce when you lift the whisk. Add the concentrated lemon juice and melted
white chocolate. Stir constantly using a silicone spatula. The mixture will
thicken. Remove the saucepan from the stove.
Note: A way to know
that the lemon curd is ready (so the egg yolks are fully cooked) is to use a
digital thermometer and wait until the temperature reaches 160-175°F.
In another mixing bowl,
whisk the mascarpone cheese with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to soften
it. Slowly add the lemon curd to the mascarpone cheese, adding just a little
curd at a time. Add the vanilla extract (if used).
Clean your handheld mixer
in hot soapy water. Always make sure the beater blades are completely clean
prior to whipping cream for optimum results. Rinse with cold water to ensure
the blades are cold. The whipping cream should also be whipped cold. Whip the
cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of
the powdered sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3
minutes, until it forms soft peaks.
Pour ⅓ of the
whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Pour
in the rest of the whipped cream; gently fold the whipped cream to get a light
and airy mousse.
to the lemon mousse to a piping bag.
Pipe the mousse to fill the fruit "cups". Place the filled desserts
in a large food storage container. Seal it with the lid and chill in the
refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The fat from the cream may pick up some
other food odor from the refrigerator if the container isn't sealed properly.
When you're ready to serve, place each lemon on an individual serving plate and
top with a reserved little "hat". Decorate with fresh mint leaves and
sprinkle with a dust of powdered sugar.