I´m sure there is no country in the world where fruit desserts are not popular. Mousses, bavarois, tarts, pies, ice creams… the list is endless, and each item in it just gets better and better. Today I was in doubt whether I wanted to make a savory dish or a dessert to share with all of you, but on a quick visit to the grocery store I spotted some plump and beautiful strawberries. They are in season and oh-so-tempting, so I quickly made up my mind, and dessert it is!
I thought of making this simple and delicious strawberry mousse recipe because it´s perfect for the summer: there is no need to turn the oven on! It can be made in advance, -the day before serving it-, which is very convenient if you have guests or want to be outdoors enjoying the nice weather instead of slaving away in the kitchen. And did I mention I’m addicted to strawberries with whipped cream or condensed milk? This is something I learned to eat in Peru (there were no strawberries in Nicaragua when I was growing up), and this dessert reminds me of this marvelous sweet treat.
This recipe also reminds me of the “gelatina batida” (whipped gelatine) that I used to make for my kids when they were little. They loved to eat it straight out of the fridge, as a refreshing summer dessert, or took it to school in their lunchboxes. In Peru we love making all kinds of puddings with gelatine, with condensed milk, and with fruits. The options are endless. Take for example two of the easiest and most satisfying desserts I know: frozen lucuma mousse, and passion fruit mousse.
This mousse couldn´t be easier to make. Just process the strawberries in a blender with the condensed milk, add the orange juice, the dissolved gelatin, a light meringue made with three egg whites, and pour everything into an oiled baking pan if you plan on unmolding the mousse and serving it like a cake. Otherwise, a pretty container, or a few ramekins or glasses for individual portions will be all you need.
I like to serve whipped cream over this mousse, but I prefer to make my own whipped cream instead of buying the packaged stuff (I’m Latin, we cook from scratch). For me, this small detail makes all the difference, but if you are more convenience oriented, feel free to use either one, or you can even serve this dessert with Greek yogurt to add a tangy note that will complement the strawberry flavor. A crispy cookie or a few mint leaves will add a lovely final touch. And you are ready to enjoy!
- 2 lb. strawberries
- 1 14oz. can condensed milk
- Juice of ½ lime or lemon
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 egg whites
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Whipped cream
- Wash the strawberries and reserve some of them to use as a garnish.
- Process the rest in a blender with the condensed milk and lime juice.
- In the meantime, bloom the gelatin in the orange juice. When fully hydrated place in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Cool at room temperature and add to the strawberry mixture.
- Beat the egg whites in the mixer until foamy. Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and when firm fold this meringue into the strawberry mixture.
- Pour into nice glasses or a lightly oiled baking pan, and refrigerate until set, (about 4 – 6 hours or overnight).
- To serve: unmold if using a baking pan, add a dollop of whipped cream, and garnish with strawberries.
- Note: You may want to add some mint leaves next to the strawberries.