My aunt’s strawberry mousse: The perfect mousse of summers past

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Last week I came across a great sale on strawberries at the local grocery store. I bought several packs with the intention to make a quick dessert out of this gorgeous ruby summer fruit. A couple of days passed though, and I was out of ideas. I wanted to make something quick yet also meaningful – a dessert which told a story about me and my culinary experiences, but also celebrated summer and one of its best fruit offerings. Finally, my memories came to the rescue: I was going to recreate the strawberry mousse I used to eat as a child.

Back then I used to spend my summer vacations at the countryside house owned by my uncle and my aunt. It was a beautiful house, with a diverse and well organized fruit garden. Apples, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, even gooseberries – they were all there, giving us delicious fruits all summer long. Back then life was simple and unadorned, and so were our meals. My aunt made this strawberry mousse with very few ingredients and she used a hand mixer to mix them all together (which was an extraordinary thing in itself since hand mixers were very difficult to find in those days).

*Please note: This recipe uses raw eggs, which are not recommended to small children and pregnant women. Also make sure the eggs are very fresh – or even better, buy organic eggs to avoid the risk of salmonella contamination.

Ingredients

2 lbs strawberries

6 egg whites at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

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Beat the egg whites until stiff using a hand mixer, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar. This process takes approximately 15 minutes and the end result looks like this:

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Pour this mixture into a blender (you can continue using the hand mixer if you like). Wash the strawberries, dry them with a paper towel, and add them into the blender (cut the strawberries into small pieces if using the hand mixer):

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Blend until the ingredients are uniformly combined and the texture is smooth. Pour the mousse into glasses and decorate them to your liking. Chill the mousse the refrigerator for at least one hour.

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This is a quick and easy dessert which emphasizes the natural flavor of the strawberries while also transforming them into something new, smooth and refreshing. To me, this mousse is a colorful reminder of the generosity of the summer, and it makes me want to rush back into the kitchen and to come up with more recipes. After all, now is the perfect time to do it:  the days are long and produce is aplenty.


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