Strawberry Mousse in Tulip Cups
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
6 cups (three 1-pint baskets) fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
8 large pesticide-free red or other color tulips, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons meringue powder
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
In medium-size heatproof bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and the boiling water until sugar
dissolves; set sugar syrup aside to cool.
In cup, combine cold water and gelatin; set aside 5 minutes to soften gelatin.
Meanwhile, hull and finely dice enough strawberries to measure 4 cups. Refrigerate remaining
strawberries. In 2-quart saucepan, heat diced strawberries and remaining 1/2 cup sugar to boiling over medium
heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer berries until very soft -- about 5
minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
Prepare orange-berry sauce: In food processor fitted with chopping blade or
blender, process or blend cooked berries until smooth puree forms. Pour 1 1/3 cups strawberry puree into
2-cup measuring cup and stir in orange juice; cover and refrigerate until cold.
Pour remaining strawberry puree into same 2-quart saucepan and stir in softened
gelatin; heat over low heat just until gelatin dissolves. Refrigerate strawberry
gelatin, stirring often, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon -- about 30
Meanwhile, prepare tulip cups: Cut off stems and remove the pistils and stamens from the
tulips. Place each tulip cup in a custard cup or muffin-pan cup to keep them
upright; set aside.
Add meringue powder to syrup in bowl. With electric mixer on high speed, beat until soft peaks
form. Add vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold cooled strawberry gelatin mixture into meringue until well
mixed. In small bowl, with electric mixer on high speed and same (no need to
wash) beaters, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into strawberry gelatin
mixture. Gently spoon strawberry mixture, or mousse, into tulip cups, dividing
evenly. Refrigerate until set -- 2 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, sort remaining strawberries and reserve 16 small ones for
garnish. Hull and slice remaining berries; divide equally and place in center of each of 8 serving
plates. With large spoon, transfer tulip cups onto bed of sliced berries, moving slices around tulip to support cup
upright. Pour a thin layer of orange-berry sauce around tulip cup on each plate. Garnish each with 2
berries. Pass remaining sauce. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 servings