The Food Crew Cape Town

Private Chef & Catering Service

A few months ago I did a drop off dinner for a Jewish client, Joy.  Since then she has begged me for the recipe for the dessert.  As anyone who visits my blog can tell, I am a very sporadic blogger – as much as I love writing and sharing, I suffer from major overthinking and by the time I have something to write about, I’ve moved on to the next thing.  Today is Joy’s birthday, so I’m not going to ignore her request any longer and finally I’m sharing the recipe.  Thank you for being so patient Joy!


The main course was roast lamb and veg, and Joy requested a light dessert to follow it.  She suggested a lemon mousse, which would go down well after a rich meal.  Being for a Jewish client, I could not mix meat and dairy in the meal and I searched the internet for non-dairy mousses.  I combined a couple of ideas and I’ll share with you what I came up with.  It was the first time I had ever made a mousse off-site and transported it, I feared it would arrive a sloppy mess, but it held it’s shape well.  This recipe has become my go-to quick dessert.


Zesty Lemon Mousse Recipe (Dairy Free)


  • 2 lemons, finely zested
  • 1/2c lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 large free-range eggs, separated
  • 1/4 c + 3/4c caster sugar
  • Optional: fresh berries and mint to serve


  1. Bring a pot of water to a simmer.
  2. Using a bowl that is large enough to fit on top of that pot without touching the water below, make a custard with the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Do this by lightly whisking the egg yolks together, slowly adding the 1/4c caster sugar while whisking, and then slowly adding the lemon juice while whisking. Do not overheat the egg yolk mixture or it will go lumpy. It will thicken.
  3. Remove the bowl with the egg yolk mixture in, add the lemon zest, and continue to whisk until cool. Set aside.
  4. Now make the meringue with the egg whites. In a clean bowl over the simmering water, beat the egg whites with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Slowly start beating in the remaining sugar, until stiff peaks form. The trick is to cook this long enough, at the right heat, to take away the eggy taste without overcooking the egg whites. Continue beating off the heat until the mixture is cold (this does not take long, as the mixture doesn't get very hot).
  5. To create the mousse, fold a 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. The mousse can also be frozen and served as a non-dairy icecream.
  7. Enjoy!


The egg whites are not fully cooked in this recipe and may not be suitable for the very young or elderly, or infirmed. Choose the size of bowls carefully - remember you have to whisk the egg whites until they become meringue, and then fold them into the egg yolk mixture.

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