And it’s a stunner.
Strawberry mousse
Credit: Getty / margouillatphotos

My favorite summer desserts are those that are crazy easy to toss together and highlight the bounty of summer fruits which are in such abundance. If I don't have to turn on my oven and heat up the kitchen, so much the better. And if it is a dessert with a recipe so simple, I can just memorize it? Now we are really off to the races.

Meet my new favorite summer dessert: a classic fruit mousse!

This dessert began as a riff on a simple English fool. The fool dessert was a way to make a light creamy dessert that is mousse-like, without having to separate eggs and deal with fussiness. A simple sweetened fruit puree is folded into softly whipped cream, leaving streaks of fruit and cream in a swirly fluff. Add some crumbled meringues and you have a classic Eton Mess. I love both for summer desserts. 

But then I discovered a new version I love even more—one which takes a simple fruit mousse, based on the same principal, but adds a clever (easy!) twist. Instead of using sweetened fruit puree, you sweeten the cream, and instead of leaving it streaky, you fold in in completely. This takes the original from a dessert where you are tasting fruit and cream separately, into a true fruit mousse. And still no eggs to mess about with!

Even better? I use sweetened condensed milk as the sweetener. And I do this for a particular reason. Any leftover mousse can be frozen as-is to make a version of a no-churn ice cream (you're welcome). The liquid nature of the sugar in sweetened condensed milk and the added milk proteins help to keep the mousse from freezing too hard! Two summer desserts in one. 

How to make my Classic Summer Fruit Mousse

It couldn't be easier! Ready?

Classic Summer Fruit Mousse

¾ cup fresh or frozen fruit puree (use fresh or frozen fruit, puree in food processor, blender, or food mill, if needed remove any skin or seeds by passing through a sieve)

2 cups heavy whipping cream

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Pinch fine sea salt

Fresh fruit for garnish (optional)

1. Whip cream and sweetened condensed milk to soft peaks. You want it a little slumpy, not stiff, which will help the fruit incorporate.

2. Add the pinch of salt to the fruit puree, then fold fruit into cream/condensed milk blend gently until there are no streaks left.

3. Spoon into a large bowl or individual ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and chill a minimum of 2 hours or up to overnight. Garnish with fresh berries or cubes of whatever fruit you used. 

4. Serve with shortbread or wafer cookies if you like.

Mousse and topping combinations to consider 

Of course, you can top your mousse with the same fruit you used, but you can also pick another for contrast and fun. Here are a few of my favorites to inspire you:

  • Passion fruit mousse with fresh raspberries on top
  • Peach mousse with blackberries on top
  • Mango mousse with toasted coconut on top