Tangerines are often overlooked in desserts. Sweeter and a little more mysterious than oranges, they can be substituted in any recipe using citrus. I love a tangerine meringue pie using tangerine juice instead of lemon. I also love the flavor and fragrance of tangerines in the following mousse recipe. This recipe, by the way, can be adapted to use any fruit; try it substituting pomegranate juice and pomegranate liqueur for the tangerine juice and orange liqueur called for in this version (blueberry also works well).
1 package unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons Cointreau, Curacao or Grand Marnier
5 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated tangerine zest (orange part only)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup tangerine juice
1 cup heavy cream
Dissolve the gelatin in three tablespoons warm water and add the Cointreau.
Place the egg yolks in a heavy saucepan and add the sugar, tangerine peel, gelatin mixture, lemon juice and tangerine juice. Mix well, using a wire whisk.
Place the saucepan over very low heat (you may also use a double boiler) and whisk gently until the mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Do not overcook. Cool and place in a large mixing bowl.
Whip the cream until stiff.
Whip the egg whites until barely stiff (not too dry).
Fold the cream into the egg-tangerine mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites until barely blended.
Spoon or pipe the mousse into individual bowls or into a serving bowl. Chill overnight or for at least four hours. Garnish with crushed amaretto cookies or chopped mint.