Lime mousse verrine — Verrine de mousse de citron vert

Lime mousse verrine

Slow down! And breathe,” P. whispered when he noticed that I was starting to feel agitated. As if I had to do something. Or make something.

It’s funny but it works and I hate to admit it, especially to P. At times, he reminds me to breathe, respirer !

I am still unsure that I know how I feel. How I should feel.

Sometimes, I imagine that the realization of the last six months is going to hit me. Suddenly and unexpectedly. And when it does, it’ll hit me hard on the head. Bang!

Somehow, it started four days ago, after I handed my manuscript to my editor. When my friend S. and I talked about it, she told me that the minute after she had turned in a book manuscript, she had driven home and cried. I didn’t, I told her. But one day later, I was crying too.

I wasn’t sad, mind you. I was simply starting to really relax. And breathe again. And that can be a process that requires time. I was — am — realizing the events of the last few months, one after the other.

These past six months have been a hike, to say the least. There’s been giving birth to our precious baby, winter in Boston with its snow storms, long days and evenings spent behind the stove cooking, and styling and photographing; writing while breastfeeding and changing diapers — and trying to sleep too, whenever I could. There has been styling and photography projects on the side, an inspiring conference where I was lucky to speak, the visits of my parents and P.’s — and the biggest of all, learning to become a mother.

I loved every moment even if it wasn’t always easy. There’s been laughter and tears; joy and discouragement. But when I look back and see the beautiful smiling face of our happy Lulu, what seemed unbearable and difficult vanishes. Pouf ! It’s magical how it works, really.

Lime mousse verrine

So yes, I am still amazed to realize that I met my deadline, handing in my manuscript on time last Wednesday. I am not sure how I managed. It’s perhaps a high dose of adrenaline that helped when I needed it, at the right time.

Of course, that does not mean that everything is done with my book. There is still plenty of work ahead for me, with revisions, corrections and testing — I know that! But the book is brought to life, slowly, and I am excited. And while this is happening, I am now officially on vacation. Oh yes! How nice does the word sound when I repeat it out loud a few times, vacances, vacances, vacances, just to make sure that it won’t go away without me.

Amazing!

Lime mousse verrine

Lime mousse verrine


We are taking Lulu to Europe this summer. She’s going to visit Ireland and France for the first time — we are so proud to be lucky enough to give her this opportunity. I am so eager for her to meet her Irish great-grandmother and cousins; meet more of my relatives in France; play with her grandparents; spend time in my brother’s garden; see the cows, goats and sheep. I’ll show her salads and apple trees and strawberries. She won’t care but that will make me feel warm inside anyhow. We’ll be having picnics by the river, eat lunch under the cherry trees, and walk through the fields. I’ll show her the details of the life that made me a happy young girl growing up in rural France. It might sound cheesy to say, but she is really the best thing I’ve ever done — and that’s coming from a woman who was never sure whether she wanted to have children. I love to rediscover the world through her eyes — like the day when she found out she could make noise by gently running her fingers on the strings of a guitar.

Nature makes wonders.

Lime mousse verrine

But with this said, let me share the recipe of this verrine with you, before the rhubarb and strawberry season comes to an end, and you might have to wait until next year again.

I wrote it last year, for the Cuisine Light magazine. It’s a lovely dessert that works perfectly to conclude a dinner with friends. It’s refreshing and sure to please the eye. I thought you might simply enjoy it too.

It’s a dessert to keep handy for a meal during les vacances — or not — if that’s where you are right now.

Lime mousse verrine

Lime mousse verrine

Note that it uses biscuits roses de Reims which you might find a little difficult to find. If that’s the case, use Champagne biscuits instead, or finely crumbled shortbread or why not, biscotti. Also, I like to work with gelatin sheets because it’s more what I am used to. If you prefer, substitute with gelatin powder. Note that in general, 1/2 teaspoon gelatin powder = 1 gelatin sheet.

Last June, I was pleased to see that Loukoum had enjoyed preparing the dessert. It’s always nice to get feedback.

Verrine of lime mousse, with stewed rhubarb and fresh strawberries

(For 4 people)

For the stewed rhubarb:

  • 4 sticks of rhubarb, diced (you do not need to peel the rhubarb if it’s young and tender)
  • 1/4 cup blond cane sugar

Steps:

  • In a pot, combine the rhubarb and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Cover and let stew until the rhubarb is soft (about 10 minutes). Let cool.

For the lime mousse and fruit:

  • 2 limes
  • 2 gelatin sheets (about 4 g)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 7 oz mascarpone
  • 4 tablespoons blond cane sugar + 1 teaspoon
  • 9 oz strawberries, washed, hulled and diced
  • A few biscuits roses de Reims, crumbled finely (or champagne biscuits)
  • A few unsalted green pistachios, shelled and chopped coarsely

Steps:

  • Soak the gelatin sheets in a large colume of cold water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the sheets between your fingers to remove the excess of water. Heat the milk and add the gelatin sheets so that they dissolve in the milk.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light in color. Add the mascarpone and dissolved gelatin, and mix well.
  • Add the lime zest and juice.
  • Beat the egg whites to soft peaks with a pinch of salt. When they are almost firm, add 1 teaspoons sugar and continue to beat for 1 minute. Fold the egg whites in the lime-flavored mascarpone.
  • To prepare the verrines, have 4 glasses handy. Add 1 good spoonful of rhubarb at the bottom. Add strawberries. Add the rest of the rhubarb and pipe lime mousse on top. Place in the fridge for about 2 to 3 hours.
  • When you are ready to serve, sprinkle the biscuits roses de Reims and add a few pistachios.
Le coin français
Mousse au citron vert en verrine, et sa compote de rhubarbe et fraises

(Pour 4 personnes)

Pour la compote de rhubarbe :

  • 4 bâtons de rhubarbe, pelés et coupés en gros dés
  • 50 g de sucre blond de cane

Etapes :

  • Mettez la rhubarbe dans une casserole avec le sucre, et faites compoter sur feu doux pendant environ 10 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit tendre. Laissez refroidir.

Pour la crème au citron vert et les fruits :

  • 2 citrons verts
  • 2 feuilles de gélatine alimentaire
  • 2 càs de lait
  • 2 jaunes d’oeuf
  • 4 blancs d’oeuf
  • 1 pincée de sel
  • 200 g de mascarpone
  • 4 càs de sucre fin + 1 càc
  • 1 barquette de fraises, lavées et coupées en petits dés
  • Quelques biscuits roses de Reims, réduits en poudre (ou des boudoirs)
  • Quelques pistaches vertes non salées, décortiquées et hachées

Etapes :

  • Faites tremper la gélatine dans un grand volume d’eau froide pendant 5 minutes. Essorez-la et faites la dissoudre dans le lait chauffé.
  • Battez les jaunes d’oeuf avec le sucre jusqu’à blanchiment. Ajoutez ensuite la mascarpone et la gélatine.
  • Prélevez le zeste des citrons verts, et pressez leur jus. Ajoutez-les à la mascarpone.
  • Battez les blancs en neige ferme avec 1 pincée de sel. Quand ils sont presque fermes, ajoutez 1 càc de sucre et battez pendant encore 1 minute. Incorporez délicatement la neige ferme à la crème citronnée.
  • Pour assembler vos verrines, placez la moitié de la rhubarbe au fond de 4 petits verres, et recouvrez de fraises (gardez-en pour la décoration). Ajoutez le reste de rhubarbe, puis la crème au citron vert. Mettez au frais pendant 2 à 3 heures pour que la mousse prenne.
  • Au moment de servir, saupoudrez de poudre de biscuits roses, de fraises et de pistaches vertes.
Posted in Uncategorized | 53 Comments

53 comments

  1. What a beautiful piece of writing. Your photos are getting better and better too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So beautiful and inspiring as always Bea, congratulations on meeting your deadline, enjoy your vacances, and I look forward to seeing the book one day!

  3. What is so wonderful about your stories, recipes and photographs is that I feel I have taken a vacation for the few moments a week I come to visit your blog. Your work is so inspirational! Have a lovely summer! Looking forward to your book.

  4. I’ve been reading your blog and drooling over your photographs for a long time now. It took me a long time to find out what makes me love it so much, every single post. You have the deepest, most wonderful eye for what is delicate and sweet, and it shows in your photos, your recipes, and also in the way you write. I don’t mean sweet (only) as in sugar or honey, but sweet as in make our hearts happy.
    Thank you, and have a great time in beautiful Europe!
    Ana

  5. A delightfully refreshing verrine! Your pictures are amazing, as always!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. What a beautiful piece of writing, and what a delicious looking pudding. Have a wonderful summer – you certainly deserve it.

  7. J’ai l’impression de vivre un peu la même chose que toi, entre manuscrits, fourneaux et couches-culottes ;) C’est épuisant mais c’est très certainement un moment de ma vie dont je me souviendrai avec bonheur ! Bonnes vacances à toi !

  8. Magnifique!…My best wishes for your precious family and your lovely (I’m sure it will be!) book.
    Bonnes vacances!

  9. Congratulations, Bea,
    on wiriting the book and meeting the deadline, you are Wonder Woman! :-)
    My heartfelt congratulations also for your precious daughter (yes, I confess, I haven’t been here for quite a while, which is a shame, but sometimes life around here get’s way to busy) . I remember the day when we took our oldest to Europe for the first time, she was eight months old then and sure does not remember the trip, but for me it was like for you: I wanted her to start getting to know the world I had grown up in (in the country, like you, and I shall always treasure those young years there).

    With best wishes,
    Merisi

  10. P.S.:
    is there a way to already subscribe for an order of your book?
    I can’t wait to hold it in my hands!

  11. Congratulations on handing in the manuscript! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  12. Tu a raison : nature makes wonders :) Je te souhaite d’agréables vacances et beaucoup de temps libre pour ‘respirer’.
    Et ta recette m’a inspiré il n’ y a pas longtemps (j’ai gardé ce numéro de Light précieusement et je le feuillette de temps en temps), sauf que bien évidemment mes photos ne sont pas aussi réussies que les tiennes ;)

    Bonnes vacances et à bientôt!

  13. Lovely post, as always. Well deserved break it seems. It’s amazing how you can keep it all together while you need to, but then you just have to have a break! BTW, have you done many flavour combinations with lime and basil??

  14. Congrats on handing in your manuscript! I can relate to the feeling of crying and relaxation. I worked on my thesis for a year and after I stepped out of the defense room and were congratulated by my friends, I just started to sob. When they asked why I was crying, I just looked at them and said, “I don’t know! But it’s not stopping!” So happy that you are jetting off to Europe for some relaxation. And I absolutely adore how you arranged the strawberries and rhubarb in the verrine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen rhubarb look so beautiful/delicious!

  15. Après la fin d’un gros projet ou d’une longue période de travail, je passe les premiers jours de repos dans un état de léthargie, à presque déprimer d’avoir tout terminé. C’est peut-être le retrait d’adrénaline, justement.

    Je vous souhaite de magnifiques vacances à toi et toute ta famille!

  16. Congratulations on finishing your manuscript! What a monumental accomplishment. This recipe is awe-inspiring and so incredibly beautiful. Great job!

  17. Congrats on the completion of your book!!

    I find your blog quite inspiring; I am expecting my first miracle, (a little, tiny baby boy), in 9-days and aspiring to write children’s books, while indulging in my fascination with reading recipes. So you have a budding 27 y/o in Ohio dreaming for your life & skill!

    Congrats & best wishes!

  18. the vacation sounds uttterly delightful. well deserved, i might add. congratulations again on the book, you’re always such an inspiration, béa!

  19. Bea, this is my first time here!! All I have to say is that you are AMAZING!!! :)

  20. Je suis toujours aussi émerveillée par vos photos : elles font saliver ! Bonnes vacances à vous!

    Amalia

  21. Congrats! I look forward to seeing your gorgeous photos and recipes in your book. Enjoy your well-deserved vacation and time with family. Cheers!

  22. such a well deserved vacation bea. what a year! enjoy your trip overseas… i’m so jealous…

  23. Béa, je viens tout juste de découvrir votre travail sur Flickr et je suis vraiment impressionnée. J’ajoute tout de suite votre blog dans ma liste de «à consulter fréquemment»!!! : )

    Bravo!

  24. Stunning photography as usual!
    Enjoy your holiday Bea – you deserved it!
    I wish you guys great time in Europe…
    Duygu

  25. What a love lovely dessert!!! half shocked still that you mentioned biscuits roses de Reims, because I have a box of the very exact biscuits sitting in our snacks cabinet :) Enjoy the vacation and don’t forget to still share the good times with your devoted readers ;)

  26. What absolutely gorgeous cows! Congratulations on your well deserved vacances. I absolutely adore the idea of the lime with the rhubarb…delicious!

  27. I have been following you for a while now, since before you had Lulu, I am still loving it, your writings are heartfelt, and your photos are amazing…Congratulations on your book , and have a wonderful time on your vacation..well done :-)

  28. I love the way you choose your words and share your photos and walk us through your life. I would read your blog even if you didn’t have any recipes to share…but oh, your recipes are fantastic!! I cannot wait to buy your cookbook.

  29. I felt alone when I handed my manuscript. Like my best friend had just left after a long visit. Then the edits and corrections came along and it was like going for a cup of coffee and catching up! Some people say to celebrate with a drink at every step, I made a special dessert at every step!! Enjoy your vacation, well deserved! The verrines look absolutely fantastic!

  30. Quel chouette récit, plein de sensibilité! Merci pour le clin d’oeil et je reconfirme: cette recette est top! Je n’avais pas pu résister à la préparer au vu de ta si jolie photo. Quand tu passeras par la Lorraine, fais moi signe, j’y serais peut être en même temps… on pourrait se croiser! Bonnes vacances!

  31. Made this along with your mousaka for us and our neighbors while we baked a cake for her friend’s bridal shower… it was warmly received and I loved the lemony-ness of the rhubarb, the sweet of the strawberries, and the lovely sweet-tart, silky smooth mousse on top. Just a lovely combination of flavors and textures… and it kept us from eating the cake! Thanks again!

  32. Love the photography on your site – but this is the first time I’ve tried one of your recipes. The verrines were a hit with the girls – flavoursome fruit with delicious citrussy mousse – and not too sweet! And they look great too! Un gros merci ! Bonnes vacances et à bientôt!

  33. Pingback: Rhabarberkompott mit Limonenmousse | C'est la vie, chérie !

  34. Pingback: Rhabarberkompott mit Limonenmousse {Compota de ruibarbo con mousse de limón} | Liebe geht durch den Magen

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