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Key Lime Mousse

Key Lime Mousse
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR /

Those tiny little key limes can be a pain to juice. But several years ago, a Cooks Illustrated reader suggested using a garlic press to squeeze the juice out, and it works perfectly. Cut a lime in half, place it in the press and bear down. It takes some time, but once you've used real key limes in a recipe, you won't go back to the large Persian limes. This recipe is a delightful spring treat but is equally good after eating barbequed ribs in July.

Makes 6 servings

1 package unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce)

3 tablespoons warm water

4 large egg yolks

2/3 cup fresh key lime juice (16 to 20 key limes)

3/4 cup sugar, divided

2 tablespoons lime zest

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large egg whites, at room temperature*

1 cup whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over warm water and set aside to soften.

Whisk yolks in a small saucepan to blend. Then whisk in lime juice, 1/2 cup sugar and lime zest. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin and vanilla extract.

Set pan in cold water and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

In another large bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff.

Fold egg whites into whipped cream. In increments of 1/3, fold lime mixture into whites and cream. You can either divide the mixture into 6 individual serving dishes or leave in the large bowl. Chill until set.

* Eggs are easier to separate when cold, but egg whites whip better at room temperature.

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