Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grapefruit Mousse made with Grapefruit Curd

I have been meaning to try this recipe for Juniper Grapefruit Curd from one of my favorite blogs, Hunger and Thirst. And it is marvelous!

It's pretty amazing once you realize curd can be made from any kind of citrus, or really any kind of juice. On our trip to Seattle last week I tried a wonderful spiced apple curd... maybe next I'll make rhubarb curd!

Many curd recipes call for cornstarch as a thickener, but this method always seems to come out grainy for me. Most will say to use a double boiler, but I can testify that this is not necessary (unless you have really thin-bottomed pans, I guess). This recipe is done right on the stovetop and uses only eggs and egg yolks for thickening. I might even try it with just egg yolks next time.

Since there's already such a perfect curd recipe out there, I thought I'd try to come up with a novel way to use it. Although it is tempting to just eat it with a spoon, that would be very dangerous!

So, I made grapefruit mousse. Julia Child's definition of mousse is just any creamy whipped dessert. Technically it seems there's no one correct/traditional way to make a mousse, but some things just seem wrong. Rachael Ray's recipe for grapefruit mousse calls for marshmallow fluff! Another top hit for grapefruit mousse was just basically whipped cream with some grapefruit segments folded in, although I did like their idea of adding Campari. Many mousse recipes call for gelatin, which I'm not really that into. And some called for vanilla, which I wasn't too excited about with the grapefruit.

Mousse is often billed as a "light" dessert, but since most recipes consist mainly of whipped cream, that strikes me as quite funny! Since the curd is so rich, I thought I would see if I could use something a bit lighter than heavy cream to make it into mousse. I recently discovered you can actually whip half-and-half if you get everything really cold before you start. It definitely worked, it just has a softer texture, it won't really whip up to stiff peaks, but that's ok with me. Sour cream can also be whipped to a similar soft but fluffy texture, and gives kind of a nice extra flavor.

1/2 cup Grapefruit Curd (with or without the juniper)
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sour cream

Make grapefruit curd according to recipe. Chill a metal bowl, beaters and the half-and-half in the freezer for 15 minutes. Beat on high speed for several minutes, until it is fluffy, like soft whipped cream. Beat sour cream in a separate bowl. Fold both together with the curd, using a rubber spatula. Here's the technique to avoid stirring all the air out of it: pull the spatula straight toward you, then scrape it back along the curve of the bowl; rotate the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat, until just mixed. Scoop into pretty glasses and chill for an hour or more. Garnish with grapefruit rind. Serves 4.

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