Meyer Lemons, with their thin skins and sweet-tart juice, are abundant right now. My dad has a small tree and it’s covered in beautiful Meyer Lemons. I wanted to celebrate the season and create a beautiful and delicious dessert that would be perfect for an afternoon lunch al fresco. Something light and creamy and refreshing: Meyer Lemon Mousse Cups.

The actual lemon becomes the perfect serving cup for this luscious lemony mousse! The perfect summer treat. Easy and beautiful.

This recipe is very simple but I think it is easiest to prepare the night before serving, as you can place the filled cups, covered in plastic wrap or in Tupperware, into the fridge to set overnight.

Start by gathering together nine Meyer Lemons that are roughly the same size and shape. (You can use regular lemons but since they are more tart you will probably need to add extra sugar to your lemon curd.) After washing and drying, take a sharp knife and slice the little nub off the end so that the lemon will stand on its own. Now cut off the stem top of the lemon, about 1/4″ down, leaving an opening big enough to insert a spoon. Keep the little lemon caps and stems to use for decoration later. Carefully run the knife around the inside edge loosening the pulp. Using a melon baller, scoop out all the pulp, being careful not to go through the bottom of the lemon. Set the pulp aside in a bowl to use for juice later.

When all the lemons are scooped out, place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge. Squeeze all the juice from the pulp and set aside. Place mixing bowl and beater into the fridge to chill for whipped cream later.

To make the curd: Start by pushing the egg yolks through a sieve into a heavy sauce pan. I like to strain the yolks first so I don’t have to do it at the end. (I also save the egg whites in a plastic container in the freezer for future use.) Next, add lemon juice and sugar whisking together over medium heat until combined. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in butter pieces until melted and smooth. Add your lemon zest or lemon oil. Transfer curd to large bowl, cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge until completely chilled and firm, about an hour. (Note: Since I had so much extra juice I decided to make 4x the amount of lemon curd called for in this recipe so that I could freeze the extra for future use. It is very easy to increase the curd recipe, just remember that it takes longer to cook.)

To make the mousse: Start whipping the cream (using the chilled beater and bowl) until soft to semi-firm peaks form. The recipe calls for adding raw egg whites to the whipped cream but I chose not to use them for safety reasons. (Raw eggs are not safe for pregnant women or small children.) Instead I added a little vanilla (no sugar) to my whipped cream and folded it into my chilled lemon curd to make the mousse. Place the lemon mousse back into the fridge to chill. About 30 minutes later fill a piping bag with the chilled mousse and fill the lemon cups. I topped each lemon cup with some extra lemon zest strips that I rolled in granulated sugar. Prop the lemon cap next to the lemon cup for presentation. Keep the mousse cups in the fridge until ready to serve.

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