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Celebrate strawberry season with something special

Recipe: Easy fresh strawberry mousse lets flavor shine

Pink dessert in in dish with brown and pink design
This easy strawberry mousse contains no eggs. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

My garden yielded a bounty of fresh strawberries, the first of the season. How to celebrate? With a dessert that feels just as special as those first fresh-picked berries: Strawberry mousse.

Like anything French (at least food-wise), mousse comes with a reputation. Rich and silky chocolate mousse, packed with eggs as well as cream, is synonymous with decadent desserts.

By contrast, this strawberry mousse is light and airy, with no eggs. Without too much sugar, the strawberry flavor really comes through. Pushing the pulp through a sieve removes the many seeds and yields a mousse with a wonderfully smooth texture. This method would also work with stone fruits and other berries, such as blackberries.

Mousse is easier to make than it sounds; just take it step by step. It takes some preparation time, but the results will taste as special as those first strawberries.

Easy fresh strawberry mousse

Makes 4 servings


2 cups strawberries, hulled and pureed (about 1 pound)

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons Cointreau or other liqueur (optional)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (1 packet) powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons warm water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sliced strawberries or other garnish


Wash and hull strawberries. Process in a food processor until pureed or mash by hand. In a large bowl, combine pureed strawberries and granulated sugar. Let sit 30 minutes to bring out the berries’ juices. Push the strawberry pulp and juice through a sieve to remove seeds and heavy fibers. You should have about 1-1/2 cups strained strawberry puree and juice. Add salt and the Cointreau or liqueur, if using; set aside.

In a glass measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl, mix powdered gelatin with warm water until gelatin is dissolved. Let sit 3 minutes. Microwave gelatin mixture for 20 seconds on high to heat and melt the gelatin. Add ¼ cup of strawberry puree to gelatin mixture, then add gelatin mixture to strawberry puree. Stir gently to combine.

Either with an electric mixer or food processor, whip together whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into strawberry puree mixture, stirring just enough that the color looks even and not striped with white.

Transfer mixture into serving dishes and chill at least 2 hours. Garnish, if desired, and serve.

Note: This mixture may also be chilled in a mold. Wet inside of mold first. Chill at least 4 hours.

pink soft dessert in bowl with strawberry
Be sure to garnish it with more strawberries.


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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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