Ingredients for the mousse:
- 1 lb (350g) strawberries, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 2/3 cup (130 g) superfine sugar juice of 1 lemon
- generous 1/3 cup (100ml) heavy cream
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 quantity (9oz/250g) crème patissiere, cooled
Ingredients for the crème patissiere:
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp(125gr) superfine sugar
- ¼ cup (40gr)all-purpose flour
- generous 2 cups (500ml) milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- a little confectioners’ sugar or butter
Directions for the mousse:
Put the strawberries in a pan with ½ cup (100g) sugar and heat very gently, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time. When the mixture comes to a simmer, cook gently for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or a food processor and whiz to a puree, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a bowl. Let this coulis cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming. When cold, stir in the lemon juice.
Whip the cream to a ribbon consistency, then fold into the cooled crème patissiere.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl to a foam, then add the remaining sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Gently fold in the pastry cream mixture, without overworking.
Very delicately mix in the cold strawberries coulis. Divide the mousse between 6 glass dishes and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serve the mousse on its own, or with extra berries.
Tip: You may need to adjust the quantity of sugar for cooking the berries according to how ripe they are. This mousse is equally delicious made with flavorful blackberries or raspberries.
Directions for the Crème Patissiere:
Combine the egg yolks and one-third of the sugar in a bowl and whisk to a light ribbon consistency. Add the flour and whisk it in thoroughly.
In a pan, heat the milk with the rest of the sugar and the vanilla bean. As soon as it comes to boil, pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, stirring as you go. Mix well, then return the mixture to the pan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with the whisk. Allow the mixture to bubble, still stirring, for 2 minutes, then tip it into a bowl.
To prevent a skin forming, dust the surface with a veil of confectioners’ sugar or dot all over with little flakes of butter. Once cold, the pastry cream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Remove the vanilla bean before using.