Lemon Mousse Squares with Date-Walnut Crust

posted by mamasue 04-22-99 5:58 AM

Lemon Mousse Squares with Date-Walnut Crust

3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. chopped pitted dates
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. Vanilla

5 eggs, separated, room temp.
10 TBL fresh lemon juice
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. Grated lemon peel
2 tsp. Unflavored gelatin (softened in 1 1/2 TBL water)
1 c. chilled whipping cream
3/4 c. chilled whipping cream, beaten to firm peaks
16 strawberries, halved lengthwise
fresh mint leaves

For crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter 8-inch square baking pan. Combine all ingredients in processor.

Using on/off turns, blend until crumbly. Press into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake until edges are light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

For Mousse: Stir yolks, lemon juice, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon peel in top of double boiler, mixing until sugar dissolves. Stir over simmering water until mixture thickens and leaves path on back of spoon with finger is drawn across, about 4 minutes. Remove from water. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Let stand until cool but not set.

Beat whites in large bowl until soft peaks form, gradually beating in 1/3 cup sugar. Fold 1/4 into lemon mixture to lighten; gently fold in remaining whites.

Whip 1 cup cream in another bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold into lemon mixture. Spread mousse in crust-lined pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours. (can be prepared 1 day ahead to this point).

Just before serving, cut dessert into 16 squares. Transfer to platter. Spoon whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. Pipe cream around top of each square. Garnish center of each with strawberries and mint.

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