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This delicately sweet and airy Light Lemon Mousse is made without raw eggs. Made with Greek yogurt, it’s flavoured with fresh lemon juice and berry sauce.
Light, lemony desserts are welcome at any time of year. I find I appreciate something light after a big meal. Recently I made a light gluten-free lemon fruit flan. We liked it so much that I decided to continue on my “light and lemon” quest! This Light Lemon Mousse with Greek Yogurt fits the bill. It’s delicately sweet and airy and just sweet enough to satisfy.
This mousse reminded me of a dessert my mother often made when she hosted a dinner party. That one, however, was made with lemon-flavoured Jell-O jelly powder, heavy cream and raw egg whites. This Light Lemon Mousse uses Greek yogurt and is flavoured with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest from organic lemons. While it relies on meringue for its light, fluffy texture, the egg whites are heated to 160°F. to destroy any potential bacteria, making it safe for those with compromised immune systems.
You can use any sauce with this dessert, or skip it altogether. I made it with both raspberry sauce and blueberry sauce. I found the raspberry sauce to be a little too tart. I had to double the amount of sugar to make it sweet enough to complement the lemon mousse, so blueberries would be my first choice. Strawberry sauce might be delicious too, I suspect.
I discovered this recipe on Country Cleaver and knew immediately that I wanted to make it. I adapted it to use sheet gelatin instead of powdered, as I find sheet gelatin results in desserts with a silkier texture. When I made it, I also adjusted the ingredient amounts to serve a large group. If I’m going to the trouble of making a pretty dessert, I may as well make a large quantity! You can easily change the ingredient amounts in my recipe, simply by clicking on the drop-down menu next to servings.
I tripled the ingredient amounts in the recipe below, but used only 5 sheets of sheet gelatin instead of 6 to give it a softer texture. The sheets I used measured 3 inches by 5 inches. If using powdered gelatin, I’d suggest using one envelope, (which measures 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons) instead of 1 tablespoon.
Note that different brands of gelatin may have different “bloom” numbers. That number refers to the strength or stiffness of the gelatin. Knox gelatin, commonly used in North America, has a bloom number of 225 while “gold” sheet gelatin, commonly used in some countries in Europe is 200. In his article detailing how to use gelatin, David Leibowitz laments “Substituting sheet gelatin for powdered gelatin is perhaps the most controversial ratio known to the baking world.” I found a lot of conflicting advice about converting powdered gelatin amounts to sheet gelatin, but these amounts are what worked for me. I have not tried this recipe with agar-agar yet.
This mousse will keep for a few days, making it an excellent choice for a make-ahead dessert.
What kitchen equipment will I need?
Read through the recipe and get all your equipment and ingredients ready before you start.
You will need:
- a small saucepan for the blueberry or raspberry sauce
- a fine sieve
- a mini food processor or blender (optional)
- a small dish for softening the gelatin
- a cooking thermometer
- dessert glasses or 8-oz Mason jars
- 2 medium glass or metal bowls, one of which fits over a medium to large saucepan (for heating the egg whites and sugar)
- a whisk
- a stand mixer, if you have one, or a large glass or metal bowl and an electric hand mixer
- a spatula
Tips for making Light Lemon Mousse
- Begin by making a blueberry sauce (or any berry sauce). The sauce (sometimes called a coulis) has to cool and set before adding the lemon mousse.
- Set out your dessert glasses, as you will need to fill them as soon as you’ve finished whipping the ingredients. (This dessert would be cute in 8-ounce Mason jars, too.)
- Pour a small amount (about 2 tablespoons) of the berry sauce into each dessert glass. Set aside or refrigerate to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, pour the 3 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and set aside to soften. If using sheet gelatin, place in a bowl with enough water to cover.
- In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs and put the whites into a different medium bowl, one that will fit over a pot of water. To avoid getting any yolks in the egg whites, add each egg white to a small bowl or cup before adding to the other whites. If you accidentally break a yolk, you’ve only ruined one egg white, not the entire bowl. Save the egg yolks for another use.
- Set up a faux double boiler. I use a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
- Mix the egg whites with the sugar and cream of tartar in a medium glass bowl and whisk continuously over simmering water until the temperature reaches 160°F. Add the softened gelatin mixture, (or the gently wrung, softened gelatin sheets.) Transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer (or to a large bowl.) Using the wire whip attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (about 4 – 5 minutes.)
- Immediately add the yogurt-lemon mixture and beat for one more minute.
- Carefully spoon into dessert glasses on top of the blueberry or raspberry sauce. Garnish with reserved lemon zest. Refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes to set before serving.
This delicately sweet and airy Light Lemon Mousse is made without raw eggs. Made with Greek yogurt, it's flavoured with fresh lemon juice and blueberry or raspberry sauce.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or blackberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp gelatin (or 2 sheets)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Combine all ingredients in a medium pot. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 8 - 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Transfer to a small food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
Press through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Allow to cool. Refrigerate leftover sauce.
In a small dish, pour the 3 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and set aside to soften. If using sheet gelatin, place in a bowl with enough water to cover.
In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Set aside.
Separate the eggs and put the whites into a different medium bowl, one that will fit over a pot of water
Mix the egg whites with the sugar and cream of tartar in the medium glass bowl and whisk over, not in, simmering water until the temperature reaches 160°F. Add the softened gelatin powder mixture (or gently wrung-out gelatin sheets.)
Transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer (or to a large bowl.) Using the wire whip attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (about 4 - 5 minutes.)
Immediately add the yogurt-lemon mixture and beat for one more minute.
Carefully spoon into dessert glasses on top of the blueberry or raspberry sauce. Garnish with reserved lemon zest. Refrigerate for at least 20 - 30 minutes to set before serving.
Use fresh or frozen berries. You may have to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the natural sweetness of your berries. I find that raspberries and blackberries need more sweetener than blueberries.
I tripled the ingredient amounts in the recipe, but used only 5 sheets of sheet gelatin instead of 6 to give it a softer texture. If using powdered gelatin, I'd suggest using one envelope, (which measures 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons) instead of 1 tablespoon.
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