Traditional Cranberry Mousse
Thanksgiving was last week, and in the week up to it, I was really looking forward to cranberry sauce.
So, I ended up buying far more cranberries than 2 people would ever need. Whoops!
Great excuse to make a new dessert recipe, though... and here we are: Cranberry Mousse!
This mousse is done in the traditional style, which I prefer.
Don’t let the fact that it’s traditional vs “easy” fool you, traditional style is literally less than 5 minutes of extra work, over what the easy style is - just beating egg whites.
This one is a bit different, in terms of how the base flavour - in this case, cranberry pulp - is obtained.
Rather than being a straight puree (like the raspberry mousse), or just directly from the can (like the pumpkin), this recipe involves cooking the cranberries in a bit of liquid first... almost like a cranberry sauce.
This softens the cranberries and coaxes out the juice, making it easier to get the flavour out in the pulp.
Cranberry Orange Mousse
While the base recipe for this makes a fantastically festive dessert, I like to take it one step further, and make it with a bit of orange for an accent.
I love cranberry and orange together, especially as a holiday flavour combo.
I’ve got a handful of cranberry-orange recipes up on the blog.
For a long-game recipe, there’s my Cranberry Orange Christmas Wine - a really great beverage for any holiday meal.
Anyway, yes - this base recipe can be made two ways - as a straight cranberry mousse, or as a cranberry orange mousse.
For cranberry mousse, you can use water (or cranberry juice!) when cooking the cranberries, and just don’t use orange zest.
For orange cranberry mousse, use orange juice and zest when cooking the cranberries.
Traditional vs Easy Mousse
When it comes to dessert mousse, there are two main styles - “Easy” and “Traditional”.
What is Easy Mousse?
“Easy” style mousse is basically flavoured whipped cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin.
You can start from scratch - beating heavy whipping cream until it’s ... whipped cream - or you can start with a product like Cool Whip.
Either way, you add your flavouring - liqueur, fruit, chocolate, extract, whatever - and some gelatin that you’ve bloomed and melted.
Whisk it all together, put it in cups, chill it a couple of hours, and you have easy mousse.
What is Traditional Mousse?
Traditional mousse is made with raw egg yolks and/or egg whites. (I tend to use just the whites in mine)
Traditional mousse generally comes together in 3 parts:
- Flavour base (Fruit, etc), usually mixed with sugar and the bloomed and melted gelatin
- Whipped cream. When I’m doing a chocolate mousse, the chocolate is usually in with the whipped cream.
- The egg whites.
While traditional mousse is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population, pregnant women, the elderly, and immune-compromised individuals may want to opt for the easy version, which does not contain any raw eggs.
Which Mousse is Better?
If you don’t have any health considerations that rule out the use of the egg whites - and are willing to invest the extra 5 minutes?
Honestly, the traditional mousse is 100% worth the effort.
Easy mousse is like flavoured whipped cream. It’s a tasty flavoured whipped cream, but the texture isn’t the same as the real thing.
The whipped egg whites produce tiny bubbles, and give the whole thing a fine ... foam... texture. It’s lighter and fluffier than easy mousse, and way more fun to eat, IMHO.
A Few Notes on Ingredients
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this.
- “Heavy Cream” goes by different names. You may also know it as “Whipping Cream” or “35% Cream”.
How to Make Traditional Cranberry Mousse
The full recipe follows at the end of the post, but here's the pictorial overview!
Place cranberries, zest (if using) and water/orange juice in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until cranberries split and soften.
Press cranberries through a wire sieve. Discard skins left behind, let pulp cool to room temperature.
Combine cranberry pulp, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
Pour melted gelatin into cranberry pulp mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into cranberry mixture, stirring until combined.
Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the cranberry mixture, stirring until combined.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Noelles - Holiday Cookies
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense.
Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Traditional Cranberry Mousse
- 1 ½ cups Fresh or frozen cranberries
- Zest of 1 orange Optional
- ⅓ cup Water or Orange Juice
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon Unflavored gelatin powder
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 Large egg whites
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- Place cranberries, zest (if using) and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until cranberries split and soften.
- Press cranberries through a wire sieve. Discard skins left behind, let pulp cool to room temperature.
- Combine cranberry pulp, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
- Pour melted gelatin into cranberry pulp mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into cranberry mixture, stirring until combined.
- Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the cranberry mixture, stirring until combined.
- Pour into 4-6 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired