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Lemon Mousse Squares with Date-Walnut Crust

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla

5 eggs, separated
10 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon peel, grated
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, softened in 1 1/2 T water
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
3/4 cup whipping cream, beaten to firm peaks
16 halved strawberries
mint leaves

Preheat oven to 375F. Generously butter 8" square baking pan.
Combine all crust ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns,
blend until crumbly. Press into bottom and up sides of prepared
pan. Bake until edges are light brown, 8 - 10 mins. Cool.

Stir yolks, lemon juice, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon peel in top of
double boiler, mixing until sugar dissolves. Stir over simmering
water until mixture thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when
finger is drawn across, about 4 mins. Remove from water. Add gelatin
and stir until dissolved. Let stand until cool but not set.

Beat whites in large bowl until soft peaks form, gradually beating
in 1/3 cup sugar. Fold 1/4 into lemon mixture to lighten; gently
fold in remaining whites. Whip 1 cup cream in another bowl until
soft peaks form. Gently fold into lemon mixture. Spread mousse in
crust-lined pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours. (Can be
prepared 1 day ahead at this point.)

Just before serving, cut dessert into 16 squares. Transfer to
platter. Spoon whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with small
star tip. Pipe cream around top of each square. Garnish center of
each with strawberries or raspberries and mint.


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