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Mites & Lemon Mousse

March 23, 2011

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I noticed last month that the Meyer Lemon tree was blooming beautifully, if a bit early, but the lemons that set turned black. Not a good sign. I monitored the water needs of all the trees, knowing that it was too early to start feeding with fertilizers. Now blooms & leaves are falling all over the place. One little lemon tree has lost almost it’s leaves.

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Spider mites have infested my dwarf citrus trees! A quick trip to Hewitt’s Garden Center with a stem pruned from my big Meyer Lemon tree & a blossom from one of the orange trees confirmed the infestation. Insecticidal soap, organic of course, is the first order of business. This treatment will be repeated in 10 days. By then the horticulture oil (to suffocate the remaining mites & their eggs) will be in stock. Since they are together in the garage, I must assume all trees are infested.

Where did the mites come from; which tree(s) were stressed; was a diseased plant brought in – WHAT STARTED THIS MESS! It doesn’t matter – the mess is here. I sprayed every leaf, front & back, every trunk & stem with the insecticidal soap. I severely pruned the little tree with 5 leaves remaining & have brought it inside to keep an eye on it, poor little thing.

Chilled Lemon Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 6 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar

Instructions:

  1. In medium saucepan heat yolks, lemon juice & sugar over medium heat until it coats the back of a spoon.
  2. Add butter a little at a time stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in zest.
  4. Pour into glass bowl; Cover with plastic wrap, touching the surface of the curd.
  5. Chill for 1 hour.
  6. While the curd is chilling, whip cream adding sugar until the cream peaks; Set aside.
  7. Beat egg whites with salt & sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold whites into curd to lighten texture.
  9. Fold in whipped cream.
  10. Spoon into individual serving dishes.
  11. Chill 1 hour.

Makes 6 – 10 servings.

Note: Lemons can be used as serving containers, but you are going to need 4 or 5 lemons: Cut lemons in half. Slice end of lemon halves so they will sit flat on the counter. Hollow lemons to make cups. Freeze. Spoon mousse into lemon halves. Chill 1 hour. Serve.
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Also – this mousse is SO GOOD frozen! Spoon into either the lemon half cups or into a stemmed serving glass… Ooo, a martini glass would look great!

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