It’s citrus season again! Maybe it’s because the trees are maturing, but our tangerine, clementine and mandarin trees are laden with fruit. Almost every morning for the past few weeks I’ve been able to collect a basket of tangerines to make freshly pressed juice for breakfast (no additional sugar needed!). The clementines are particularly sweet and for a while I’ve been tempted to use them in a dessert.
The basis of this mousse is a custard made with homemade concentrated clementine juice. I also added a bit of white chocolate and fromage blanc to give more body to the mousse and finished by folding in sweetened whipped cream so it turned light and fluffy. I could have made a tart or parfait with the clementine wedges, but mousse is relatively easy to make and a great way to showcase an ingredient. To visually enhance the flavor of the dessert, I served it in the whole fruit peel. I think it gives a very elegant look to the dessert. Ooh La La!
1. Info for Clementine Mousse Recipe
- Cook Time: 50 min
- Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
- Servings: 10
- Calories: 171 kcal
2. Ingredients for Clementine Mousse Recipe
- 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1-½ cups fromage blanc (see tips)
- 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, then melted in a double boiler
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 10 clementines
- 1-½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, to taste
3.1 Prepping the clementines
Cut the top of the fruit, creating a little “hat. Using a sharp paring knife, score the fruit inside into quarters. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the fruit until you reach the skin. Be very careful so the peel doesn’t tear. When you reach the skin, you could also pull the membrane for a clean look. Gather the flesh and squeeze the clementine juice. Reserve about ½ cup (you can either drink the rest or save it for another recipe).
3.2 Making clementine custard
Using a strainer, remove the clementine pulp. Place the juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer and heat for a bit less than 5 minutes. The liquid should reduce to about 1-2 tablespoons of concentrated juice. Remove from the heat. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve one more time so the mousse is silky.
With a handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a small stainless steel (or heat-proof) mixing bowl until you get a pale, yellow foam.
Prepare a double boiler: Fill a saucepan with water, making sure the water barely covers the bottom of the stainless steel mixing bowl. I always like to add a little kitchen towel on top of the saucepan. The bowl won’t jiggle and there won’t be any splatter of water in your egg mixture. Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Place the stainless steel bowl over the saucepan and, using the handheld mixer, start whisking the egg mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes to thicken the texture of the egg yolks. The mixture should fall like a ribbon of sauce when you lift the whisk. Add the concentrated juice and melted white chocolate. Stir constantly using a silicone spatula. The mixture will thicken. Remove the saucepan from the stove.
Note: A way to know that the custard is ready (so the egg yolks are fully cooked) is to use a digital thermometer and wait until the temperature reaches 160-175°F.
3.3 Making clementine mousse
In another mixing bowl, whisk the fromage blanc with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to soften it. Slowly add the clementine custard to the fromage blanc, adding just a little custard at a time. Add the vanilla extract (if used).
Clean your handheld mixer in hot soapy water. Always make sure the beater blades are completely clean prior to whipping cream for optimum results. The whipping cream should also be whipped cold. Whip the cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the texture will become grainy.
Pour 1/3 of the whipped cream into the clementine mixture. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Pour in the rest of the whipped cream; gently fold the whipped cream to get an airy mousse.
3.4 Assembly time
Transfer to the clementine mousse to a piping bag.
Pipe the mousse to fill the fruit “cups”.
Place the filled fruit in a large food storage container. Seal it with the lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The fat from the cream may pick up some other food odor from the refrigerator if the container isn’t sealed properly.
When you’re ready to serve, place each clementine on an individual serving plate and top with a reserved little “hat”. Sprinkle with a dust of powdered sugar.
4. Tips and advices:
- If you want a stronger citrus flavor, you could add ¼ teaspoon of pure orange extract to the custard. I didn’t because the fruit was already very fragrant and flavorful.
- If you don’t have fromage blanc, you could substitute mascarpone or cream cheese.