Lemon Mousse Cake
- 2 cups shortbread cookies
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- CURD: (or use store-bought, 2 1/2 cups total)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Adapted from 12tomatoes.com
Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 8-9-inch springform pan with butter or non-stick spray.
Pulse shortbread cookies in food processor while drizzling in melted butter (or mix them together in a large bowl) until mixture has consistency of coarse, damp sand. Turn crust mixture out into springform pan and press down firmly and evenly with your fingers. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
In a large saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch and cook over medium-low heat. Gradually add lemon juice, stirring until cornstarch and sugar are completely dissolved. Whisk vigorously and beat in eggs and egg yolks. Make sure heat isn’t too high that eggs scramble. Add in butter and raise heat to medium. Cook, continuing to stir, until mixture thickens and boils. 10-11 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl and chill for 4-6 hours, or overnight. Once cold, cover (pressing down onto the curd) with plastic wrap.
Pour water into a small bowl and evenly sprinkling gelatin over the top. Let gelatin set for 5-10 minutes, or until surface of water is wrinkly and gelatin has softened.
Remove curd from fridge and transfer 1 cup curd to a small saucepan and another 3/4 cup to a separate bowl and return remaining 3/4 cup to fridge for topping later. Heat over medium-low until warmed through and slightly softened.
Once gelatin mixture is ready, stir until mixture is clear and gelatin is dissolved. Note: if you dip your finger in mixture, there should be no grainy texture. Slowly whisk gelatin into your warmed 1 cup curd, then transfer gelatin curd into the remaining bowl of lemon curd and fold in.
In a separate bowl or mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form and slowly add in sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. In batches, fold egg whites into gelatin curd mixture. Then beat whipping cream in a same bowl until stiff peaks form. Again, gradually fold whipped cream into curd mixture.
Using a rubber spatula, spread mousse over cooled crust and smooth out the top. (Refrigerate remaining mousse if there’s extra or make a second, smaller cake with additional shortbread crumbs.) Cover cake and refrigerate 6-8 hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, take remaining 3/4 cup lemon curd and spread it out smoothly over the top of mousse. Run a knife along the edge of the springform pan to loosen the edges, slice into wedges and enjoy!