It’s finally strawberry season here! I usually make jam or strawberry shortcake but I wanted to elevate them somehow and this recipe feels very summery and elegant! I love that you can make it up to 48 hours in advance too.
This make-ahead strawberry mousse is rich, creamy and full of intense berry flavor! Processing the strawberries into small pieces and letting them sit with sugar and a little salt causes them to release liquid. Reducing that into a syrup before adding it to the mousse reduces the amount of moisture in the dessert and concentrates the berry flavor. Pureeing the juiced berries results in bright, fresh berry flavor. Gelatin adds structure and cream cheese gives the mousse the perfect rich and creamy texture!
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled (3 1/4 cups)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces and softened
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
- Cut enough strawberries into 1/4-inch dice to measure 1/2 cup and refrigerate until ready to garnish. Pulse the remaining strawberries in a food processor until most pieces are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick about 6 to 10 pulses. Transfer strawberries to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. (Don't clean the processor.) Cover the bowl and let strawberries stand for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Strain processed strawberries through a fine-mesh strainer into bowl, you should have about 1/3 cup juice. Measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons juice into small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the juice, and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Place remaining juice in small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add softened gelatin mixture, and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
- While juice is reducing, return strawberries to empty processor and process until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on the solids to remove seeds and pulp, you should have 3/4 to 1 cup puree. Discard the solids in the strainer. Add strawberry puree to juice-gelatin mixture and whisk until combined.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until no white streaks remain. Portion into dessert dishes and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve, garnishing with reserved diced strawberries.
- If chilled longer than 6 hours, let mousse sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.