It’s one of those dry, scorching Southern California summer days and I’m headed back to the valley through Malibu Canyon. What was once so green and lush has quickly turned brown and parched now that the rain has stopped, and summer is clearly here. Malibu Canyon is one of those places that’s been seemingly untouched since prehistoric times. It’s just jagged mountains, huge rocks and dried brush, really not much else. As I meander my way through the canyon, out of nowhere appears a strawberry stand. My eye is attracted to a giant hand-painted sign of a large, red strawberry. I figure, if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, the these must be some mighty fine strawberries this guy is selling. I pulled over to the side of the road, dust flying everywhere and approach the stand that seems like an oasis in the middle of a desert. Damn, these are some good looking berries…so I buy five baskets.
When life gives you berries, make mousse!
The Silver Palate Cookbook
2 1/2 pint baskets strawberries, stemmed, washed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons boiling water
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
additional strawberries for garnish
1.Combine strawberries, lemon juice and gelatin in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Puree until smooth. Pour in boiling water and process again, briefly. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
2. In bowl of a mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar together until pale yellow and thick. Whisk in Cointreau and beat for another minute. Pour egg mixture into the top part of a double boiler and stir until slightly thickened, and hot to the touch. Cool to room temperature.
3. Combine strawberry and egg mixtures and chill until just beginning to set.
4. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold gently into chilled mousse mixture. You can spoon mixture into individual dessert glasses, or one large bowl. You could pipe into chocolate cups, or spoon over fruit. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Makes 8 to 10 portions