Any delicate berries can be used instead of wild strawberries – try gariguette strawberries or raspberries. This dessert can be made a day ahead.
Lime Mousse with Wild Strawberries
1 sheet leaf gelatine
100ml lime juice
45g caster sugar
100g warm Italian meringue mixture (page 152)
170ml whipping cream
10g lime zest julienne
250g hulled wild strawberries
Soften the gelatine in a shallow dish of cold water to cover for about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat half the lime juice with 15g of the sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the lime syrup is hot, then remove from the heat. Immediately drain the gelatine and squeeze out excess water, then add to the lime syrup, stirring until melted. Stir in the rest of the lime juice.
Pour the lime syrup into the meringue and mix it in lightly, using a whisk. In another bowl, whip the cream to a ribbon consistency, then fold into the lime mixture using a spatula or large metal spoon. Divide between 8 glasses and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan, dissolve the remaining 30g sugar in 6 tbsp water and bring gently to the boil. Add the lime zest julienne and simmer for 1 minute, stirring with a fork, then drain the zest and set aside.
To serve, neatly pile the strawberries on top of each lime mousse and arrange the zest julienne on top. Serve lightly chilled, not too cold.
Makes about 650g
360g caster sugar
30g liquid glucose (optional)
6 egg whites
Put 80ml water into a heavy-based pan and add the sugar and glucose, if using. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring with a skimmer. Skim off any scum and brush down any crystals forming on the side of the pan using a brush dipped in cold water. Increase the heat and put a sugar thermometer in the pan.
When the temperature reaches 110°C, start to beat the egg whites in a clean bowl, using an electric whisk, or by hand. Keep an eye on the sugar syrup, and remove from the heat the moment it reaches 121°C.
When the egg whites form stiff peaks, slowly pour in the sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly as you do so.
Continue beating on a low speed for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has cooled to about 30°C. It is now ready to use.
Italian meringue mixture, which forms part of other desserts, keeps perfectly for 2-3 days in the fridge, in an airtight container.
Extracted from Desserts by Michel Roux (Quadrille, approx €17). Photography © Martin Brigdale.