Cranberry Mousse

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Eons ago when I was planning our Thanksgiving menu I decided I wanted to serve something different for dessert (along with the traditional pumpkin pie of course).  Something a bit lighter seemed like a good option so I was thinking mousse, luckily Derek loves all things mousse.  A cranberry mousse seemed like a good idea because it would still have a traditional Thanksgiving flavor and also the tartness would be nice after all the rich dinner foods we would be eating.  It was a hit!  

So let’s get to it!

One thing I like about this recipe is that it keeps in the fridge for several days, which I feel like makes it an awesome candidate for a dinner party or when you’re having people over.  Anything that can be made ahead is a winner in may eyes!

You’ll start by whisking the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until it’s pale yellow. 

Now heat half a cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan with the orange zest until it just starts to bubble. 

The next step is to slowly whisk in the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture.  It’s important to do this slowly so you don’t accidentally scramble the eggs. We’re looking for smooth custard, not a sweet scramble. ;). 

Once the cream mixed in, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  This will ensure you catch any bits of egg that may have overcooked. 

Now fold in the cranberry sauce.  I use homemade because we have it on hand quite a bit this time of year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if canned would work here also.  If you want a really smooth mousse, beat the custard mixture with an electric mixer or immersion blender. I like the texture and look of the cranberry so I didn’t mix it too much.

Now on to the part that really gives this mousse its fluffiness- the whipped cream!  Pour the rest of the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl.  Now whisk on high until you have soft peaks.  Add the powdered sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff.  Make sure you keep on eye on it though, because whipped cream can turn into butter quickly if  you’re not watching!

It’s time to put it all together!  Gently fold in the sweetened whipped cream into the cranberry custard mixture until you don’t see any streaks.  I actually mix it all together in whatever serving bowl I plan on using to make things easier later. 

Now cover with with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours so can it firm up.  You could also certainly divide it amongst smaller individual serving bowls and then chili it.  Either way works!

This mousse is light and creamy.  The tart cranberry flavor makes for such an interesting touch because I feel like it’s not often you taste something this fluffy that has that nice tartness to it. 




Cranberry Mousse
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  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream divided
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Whisking egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale yellow.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream and orange zest in a small saucepan until it just bubbling.
  3. Whisk hot cream slowly into egg and sugar mixture.
  4. Pour through a fine mesh sieve.
  5. Fold in cranberry sauce and vanilla.
  6. Beat custard mixture with an electric mixer or immersion blender, if desired.
  7. Whisk remaining heavy cream on high until you have soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and continue whisking until mixture is stiff.
  8. Fold sweetened whipped cream into cranberry custard mixture until no streaks are visible.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours so can it firm up.

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