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A Mouthwatering Dessert from Milly's Real Food

Posted on 28th April 2017 by Martha Greengrass
Whether or not the sun shines this bank holiday, Nicola Millbank's recipe for her Nan's lemon mousse brings a burst of light, citrus sweetness to brighten up even the greyest of days.  

Fresh from the pages of her debut cookbook Milly's Real Food, Milly's recipes are all about getting back to the basics: fad-free, good food that's comforting and nourishing. With recipes drawn from sustainable, easy-to-source ingredients, these are recipes destined to become go-to favourites.

Nan's Lemon Mousse with Toasted Coconut

My Nan’s lemon mousse is something I will always remember fondly. This uses my Lemon, Lime and Thyme Curd (p 210) at the bottom and Italian meringue for the top. It’s a show stopper pudding – elegant, not too over-the-top and a conversation piece.

Nan's Lemon Mousse with Toasted Coconut from Milly's Real Food

Nan's Lemon Mousse with Toasted Coconut from Milly's Real Food



zest of 3 unwaxed lemons, with a little set aside for decoration
60ml lemon juice
180g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
155g unsalted butter, cubed
4 tbsp lemon curd (see below)


120g granulated sugar
2 egg whites
4 tbsp toasted coconut flakes


A kitchen thermometer would be useful here.


Place most of the lemon zest, the lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks in a bain-marie over simmering water and stir constantly for 10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Gently whisk in the butter, a cube at a time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Using a metal spoon, fold half of the egg whites into the lemon mixture and then very gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of lemon curd into the bottom of 4 serving glasses and then top with the lemon mousse. Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

To make the Italian meringue, put the sugar and 50ml water in a small pan and dissolve over a medium heat.

Meanwhile, in another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form peaks. Set aside.

Turn up the heat on the sugar and water and bring to the boil until it reaches 120°C. Once at temperature, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites and beat continually, until you end up with really glossy, stiff egg whites.

To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon of the Italian meringue on top of the set mousse and either pop under a hot grill for a few minutes until browned or caramelise with a kitchen blowtorch.

Scatter with the toasted coconut flakes and serve.

Lemon, Lime and Thyme Curd

This is gorgeous spread on Mum’s Toasted Lemon Drizzle Agave Bread (p 44) and is a key ingredient in Nan’s Lemon Mousse (p 177), but it’s also perfect on scones as an alternative cream tea (with clotted cream of course), on toast, in lemon meringue pies or straight from the jar.

MAKES: 1 jar


zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
zest and juice of 2 unwaxed limes
200g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stalks
5 egg yolks


Put the lemon and lime zests and juices, caster sugar, butter and thyme leaves in a heatproof bowl and gently heat over a bain-marie over a low-medium heat.

In a separate bowl gently whisk the egg yolks and fold into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined and continue to stir gently over the heat for 10–12 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Remove the lemon curd from the heat, pour through a sieve over a clean bowl, discarding the thyme leaves. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into a sterilised jar. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.


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