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Lemon Poppy Seed Mousse with Strawberries

three lemon poppy seed mouse dessert

If the essence of sunshine could be distilled into a dessert, it would be lemon poppy seed mousse with strawberries.

The mousse is creamy, cloud-like and bejeweled with speckles of poppy seed. The lemon and strawberry are sweet and bursting with bright, clean flavors of spring and summer.

This dessert is divine in it’s own right and can easily adapt to make a variety of other desserts.

Fill crisp meringue shells for a decadent pavlova. Alternate layers of your favorite cake and lemon poppy seed mousse with strawberries, for a beautiful trifle. Use this recipe to top sponge cake or scone for a classic strawberry shortcake with the volume turned up. These are just to name a few options.

Whether you choose to enjoy lemon poppy seed mousse with strawberries, on it’s own or turn it into some other sublime creation, it’s a great recipe to have in your back pocket!

Just a last word before you get to it. Please, please, please, do not be afraid of the multiple steps. They’re quick and easy. If you don’t already possess the skills to whip, fold or make curd, this is a great opportunity to learn. Trust me, you won’t be sorry and you’ll definitely up your dessert game.

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three lemon poppy seed mouse dessert

Lemon Poppy Seed Mousse with Strawberries

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  • Author: Asha


Units Scale

Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Whipped Cream (stabilized)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 6 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/23/4 cup powdered sugar (amount depends on your preferred sweetness level)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of sea salt

Macerated Strawberries

  • 1 pint of strawberries (washed, pat dry, tops cut off, hulled (white core removed) and cut into quarters)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of sea salt


Lemon Curd

  1.  In a heavy, medium saucepan, add lemon juice, lemon zest, granulated sugar, eggs and pinch of salt. Whisk to combine and cook over moderately low heat. Be sure to whisk frequently to avoid burning the curd on the bottom of the pan.
  2. When the curd begins to thicken, start adding the butter a few cubes at a time (reserving 1-2 tablespoons of butter cubes). Continue cooking until the curd is thick enough to hold whisk marks (approximately 5-8 minutes).
  3. When the curd has thickened enough, remove it from the heat, add the remaining cubes of butter, whisking in between additions. When all the butter has been incorporated, add the vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
  4. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the curd into a medium sized bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate until cold (approximately 1 hour).
  5. While the curd is cooling, start macerating the strawberries.

Macerated Strawberries

  1. In a medium/ small nonreactive bowl, add all five ingredients. Gently stir to combine, cover and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. While the curd and strawberries are chilling, make the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

  1. Add the cold water to a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it, and lightly mix just until combined. Set aside to “bloom”.
  2. Vigorously whisking by hand, electric mixer or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Start whisking more slowly and gently add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, poppy seeds, vanilla extract and salt until it starts to form soft peaks. Stop whisking
  3. Microwave the set gelatin for approximately 10 seconds to liquefy.
  4. Begin whipping the cream mixture again. As it continues to thicken add the liquid gelatin in a slow gentle stream. Continue whipping until the gelatin is fully incorporated and the cream mixture has thickened to stiff peaks. Do not over whip.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.


Bring It All Together

  1. When all the components have thoroughly chilled. Begin making the mousse.
  2. In a large bowl, add the lemon curd and a third of the whipped cream. Gently stir to combine and lighten the curd.
  3. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the curd in two additions (how to fold whipped cream into a batter or custard).
  4. Serve immediately or cover and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.


  1. Spoon or pipe the mousse into small decorative dessert bowls or plates. Add the desired amount of strawberries to each serving.
  2. Garnish with additional poppy seeds, strawberry leaves or flowers or candied lemon peel.
  3. Serve and enjoy!


The mousse and strawberries are best the first day but will keep in separate containers for up to two days. Assemble just before serving.

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