Some people remember their family histories through food. I know that my family is one of those. â€œGrannyâ€™s Sugar Cookies.â€ â€œAunt Pattyâ€™s 10 Oâ€™Clock Rollsâ€ â€œAunt Lenaâ€™s Jello Saladâ€.
And then there was Momâ€™s Lemon Foof. OK, itâ€™s really called Lemon Mousse, but that wasnâ€™t near as funny. Born in 1940, my mom was of the â€˜boxâ€™ generation: if it was new, modern and came out of a box, she made it and fed it to us. Except for baked goods and Lemon Foof. Then, only the best ingredients and starting from scratch would do. Mom did use Dream Whip as the original recipe called for it, though I use real whipping cream these days.
If you love lemon, youâ€™ll adore Lemon Foof. Mom always served it in clear glass, so we could see the lovely color. Plus the flutes gave us a direct line to â€˜floofâ€™.
Itâ€™s easy, itâ€™s yummy, and a perfect, light ending for Easter dinner. Generally, Mom only made it in the spring and summer. It’s a great dessert for warmer weather.
Zest of 1 lemon (reserve a few pinches for decoration)
Â½Â cup lemon juice (or RealemonÂ®)
Â½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 pint whipping cream (or 12 ounce tub Dream Whip)
2 small glass or ceramic bowls
Medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl
Small heavy non-stick saucepan
Zest one lemon into small bowl, using only the bright yellow skin, avoiding the white pith, as it is bitter. Set aside.
Juice the lemon into a one-half cup liquid measure. If need be, make the full half-cup of lemon juice with more fresh-squeezed lemons. (You can use one of the juice from concentrates, like RealemonÂ®, but I prefer the fresh-squeezed.)
Separate the three egg yolks from the whites, adding each yolk directly to the cold saucepan. (Save the whites to use later.)
Add the zest, juice, and Â½ cup sugar to the yolks and stir with whisk until blended.
Place saucepan on stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until ingredients are well mixed and flow off the whisk in thick, custard-like ribbons. The mixture should resemble a light pudding in consistency. Remove from heat immediately, and transfer to a medium sized glass or ceramic bowl to cool.
While the egg and lemon mixture cools, whip cream, which should nearly double in volume. Refrigerate.
When the egg and lemon mixture are at room temperature, combine with the refrigerated whipping cream. If you like a strong lemon flavor, use less whipped cream to make the mousse; if you prefer something milder, use more. Fold cream gently into egg mixture and mix completely.
Once mixed, fill flutes, small parfaits or similar glasses. Top with remaining cream and lemon zest. Serves 4.
This dessert can be made up to 24 hours in advance, as a mousse. The egg and lemon mixture only can be made up to 48 hours ahead. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the mixture to prevent a â€˜skinâ€™ from forming. Avoid using aluminum or steel bowls or utensils when making the egg and lemon mixture as the acid in the lemon juice and zest can pick up an off taste from them.