Lemon Mousse with Pistachio Phyllo Crisps

In my experience, January has always been a tough month. I doubt I’m alone in feeling this way. After the rush of holiday activity and excitement over the first “real” days of winter that December brings, January can feel like a bit of a let-down. After the motivation of new year’s resolutions begins to subside, and the days feel overbearingly short (although technically they are getting longer now!) it’s hard not to feel the rut of monotony grinding deeper each day. Was that too depressing? Sorry! That’s not what this post is meant to be! It’s to look forward. It’s to bid January adieu and treat ourselves to something brighter: lemon mousse!

If you’re looking for something bright and airy to remind you of warmer months ahead, this mousse is here to help. If however you live in Los Angeles and are being pummeled by freakishly warm weather day after day (and just for the love of any known deity want to wear a parka for once) this mousse is here to help you too. With its mild chill and sweet-tart flavor, this creamy citrus treat is a welcome finish to a warm day, but with its vibrant sunny hue and a buttery, spiced pistachio cookie, it suffices as excellent dreary day comfort food. This is versatility here!

Fresh Lemon Mousse with Spiced Pistachio Phyllo Crisps

Mousse recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics

Phyllo Crisps recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious

Mousse Ingredients

3 Extra-Large Whole Eggs
3 Extra-Large Eggs, separated
1 C + 2 T Sugar
2 tsp Grated Lemon Zest + extra for garnish
½ C Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
Kosher Salt
1 C Heavy Cream
½ C Bottled Lemon Curd, at room temperature

Directions: Whisk together 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 C sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Heat mixture in small saucepan on medium low heat, stirring constantly until thick like pudding. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes before transferring mixture into a large bowl and covering the surface directly with plastic wrap. Place bowl in refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until contents are completely chilled.

Working in the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the separated egg whites with a pinch of salt and 2 T sugar. Beat on high speed until egg whites are stiff any shiny. Fold egg whites into chilled lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.

Place 1C heavy cream in mixer bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into lemon mixture.  Fold lemon curd into mixture. Serve by portioning mousse with a spoon into ramekins or parfait glasses. Garnish with lemon zest and Spiced Pistachio Phyllo Crisps.

Phyllo Crisp Ingredients

1/3 C Shelled Pistachios, unsalted

1/3 C Sugar

¼ tsp Ground Coriander

½ tsp Ground Cardamom

3 (17×12”) Phyllo Sheets

3 ½ T Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled


Preheat oven to 350°F .

Finely grind 1/3 cup pistachios with sugar, coriander, and cardamom in a food processor. Finely chop remaining pistachios and reserve.

Put stack of phyllo sheets on a work surface and cover with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and a dampened kitchen towel. Put 1 phyllo sheet on a cutting board and brush with some butter. Sprinkle phyllo sheet evenly with half of nut sugar, then top with another sheet of phyllo. Brush phyllo with some butter and sprinkle with remaining nut sugar. Top with remaining phyllo sheet, pressing down gently, then brush with remaining butter. Chill phyllo 10 minutes.

Trim edges of phyllo with a sharp knife to make 1 (15 x 12”) rectangle. Cut stack lengthwise to make 4 (3” wide) strips, then cut strips crosswise into 5 (3”) squares, forming 20 total. Halve each square diagonally, then carefully transfer triangles, one at a time, with a spatula onto a large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them ¼ inch apart. Cover triangles with another piece of parchment and a baking sheet (as a weight.) Bake in lower third of oven until golden (15 to 18 minutes.) Remove top baking sheet and carefully peel off top parchment (some phyllo may stick to it), then cool crisps on baking sheet on a rack.

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