Balsamic Strawberry Mascarpone Mousse

8 oz mascarpone

8 oz ricotta whole milk or part skim

3 tbsp lemon curd

1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

4 oz heavy cream

1 tbsp powdered sugar

2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Put mascarpone and ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer the mascarpone mixture to a bowl. Mix in the lemon curd and lemon juice.

2. In a medium bowl, beat cream on medium until it's foamy, about 1 minute. Then add the powdered sugar, increase the speed to high, and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined.

3. Refrigerate the mascarpone mousse until needed. The mousse is best eaten within one day of making it.

4. Combine 2 cups of the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and the liquid is surupy and will coat the back of a spoon. Let cool to room temperature.

5. When you are ready to assemble the desserts, portion 1/2 cup of the mousse into 6 bowls. Spoon over an equal portion of the cooked strawberries. Top with a portion of the reserved, uncooked strawberries. Then drizzle a teaspoon or two of the balsamic over and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you have a high quality, aged balsamic vinegar, use it directly from the bottle. If you do not, you will need to make a balsamic reduction. To make a balsamic reduction, take 1/2 cup of inexpensive balsamic and 1 tbsp of sugar and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Let cool to room temperature before using.

You can also use the strawberries when they are still warm from the stove. Not hot, but a little warm is quite nice and provides a pleasant temperature difference between the strawberries and the mousse

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