Tis the season for strawberries, and pairing them with cream is just classic. A hint of lime & pepper adds an invisible touch of luxury to a special tart.
I combined this mousse recipe with my own other mousses, and created a crusted tart with a fluffy, summery attitude.
If you prefer to serve the mousse on its own without a pastry crust, see the last footnote.
Serves: 12 – 16
For the pastry:
- 200g gluten-free plain flour, plus additional for rolling
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 unwaxed lime: finely grated zest only (save juice/pulp for filling)
- 75g icing sugar
- 25g ground almonds
- 90g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg, beaten (60-70g when weighed in its shell)
- Vegetable oil or cold butter to grease tin
For the filling and garnish:
- 1 orange: grated with a citrus grater to get larger strands, and juice/pulp
- 1 unwaxed lime: juice/pulp only (see Pastry Ingredients)
- 300ml double cream (300g if weighing)
- 250g full-fat soft (i.e., cream) cheese
- 100ml soured cream (95g if weighing)
- 2 large eggs, separated into 2 large bowls (62-69g each when weighed in the shell)
- 130g white or golden caster sugar, plus 1 extra pinch
- 500g fresh strawberries: washed, hulled, and roughly chopped
- 6 gelatine leaves, with cold water to cover
- A few strawberries, sliced thinly, to garnish
- Icing sugar, to garnish (optional)
- Single cream, to garnish (optional)
- 2 medium/large mixing bowls, plus 2 small bowls
- A round, loose-based pie/tart/flan tin: 24-25cm in diameter and at least 5cm deep
- Baking/parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Baking beans or beads for blind-baking
- Pastry brush
- A fine zester, plus a citrus grater for larger strands
- A citrus juicer
- An oven-safe plate
- A heavy-bottomed saucepan that fits a large mixing bowl over
- A sturdy blender or food processor; or ideally, a stick blender
- Manual whisk
- Cooling rack
Making the pastry (see Pastry footnote):
- Mix the flour, pepper, lime zest, sugar, and ground almonds in a medium/large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until you have a consistency like fine breadcrumbs.
- Add 1/4 of the beaten egg, and mix manually just until fully combined. Pull it together into a ball – if it seems too terribly crumbly, add a drop or two more of the egg just until the ball holds together. Flatten it into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted). Grease your tin and line with paper.
- Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Roll out the chilled dough approximately the thickness of a pound coin, to fit the tin so the pastry goes all the way up the sides. If you’re using a fluted tin, ensure the pastry is pushed into each nook and cranny through the paper. Lightly prick it all over with a fork.
- Cover the pastry case with baking paper, and pour in baking beads/beans. Blind-bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Tip out the beads/beans into a small bowl and discard the covering paper. Return the tin to the oven, and bake for 10-12 more minutes until the pastry’s evenly browned.
- Remove the tin from the oven, and brush the pastry all over with the rest of the beaten egg to seal it for the filling. Leave on a cooling rack.
Making the filling and garnish:
- When the pastry’s baked, turn the oven off and spread the largely grated orange zest on an oven-safe plate, breaking up any clumps, and leave to dry out – door ajar – as the oven cools.
- Heat the orange juice/pulp, lime juice/pulp, double cream, cream cheese, soured cream, egg yolks, and 130g sugar in a large bowl over a pot of briskly simmering water (ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk manually, and frequently, for 10 minutes until hot and thickened slightly.
- Add the chopped strawberries, and whisk regularly for another 10 minutes.
- Pour the contents into a blender/food processor and blitz until smooth (alternately, and much easier, use a stick blender for 10-20 seconds in the bowl). Pour the contents back into the bowl over the saucepan.
- Turn off the hob and leave the bowl/pot there.
- Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a small bowl. Leave for 5 minutes or until softened, then squeeze out all extra liquid and add to the strawberry cream mixture, whisking briskly until dissolved. Remove the bowl to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes, very gently whisking regularly.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed as the colour and texture change.
- Gently whisk the egg whites into the strawberry cream mixture until no large lumps or streaks remain.
Pour into the baked pastry shell and drop from an inch height – gently! – to remove any air bubbles. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably longer.
- Mix a pinch of sugar with the dried orange zest, ensuring all strands are coated, and sprinkle over the tart. Garnish with sliced strawberries. You can also dust each serving with icing sugar and/or a splash of single cream.
This tart was made as a gift, hence the lack of pix showing the turned-out/cut tart.
(But, there was enough extra strawberry cream to fill a few wine/shot glasses, so I can attest to the deliciousness of the filling!)
You don’t want the dough to be too damp, even though wetter pastry is easier to handle – it can be really tough in the baked tart, and it can also shrink out of shape when baked. Err on the side of just a teeny bit too crumbly – you’ll work it together when you roll it out, and you can always patch up in the tin.
It takes MUCH less egg than you think it will – so start with only 1/4 of a large beaten egg.
A) As with my Coffee Mousse and Lemon Mousse recipes, you could dispense with any pastry crust and just serve the strawberry mousse in clear glasses. You’ll get up to 8 servings in large wine glasses – many more in smaller glasses (juice glasses, shot glasses, ramekins, etc).
B) Put some sliced strawberries into your individual containers before spooning the filling over, as well as garnishing the tops. Wine glasses should be chilled enough to serve after 90 minutes or so.
C) You only need 3 gelatine leaves when serving the mousse this way.