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Ida Lupino's Lemon Mousse

We paid tribute to trailblazing director, producer and actress Ida Lupino!

Ida Lupino was born in England and into a family dynasty of performers. She began working in film in the 1930s and starred in several B-movies at Paramount before landing at Warner Bros. This change led to some better films including "The Man I Love", "High Sierra", "The Hard Way" and "They Drive By Night". In 1949 she made her directorial debut and helmed several daring films that tackled social issues including "Not Wanted", "Outrage", "The Bigamist" and "The Hitch-Hiker". Lupino worked steadily as an actress, director, writer and producer. In 1956 she began directing episode television and notable credits include "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "The Untouchables", "Bewitched" and "The Twilight Zone". She became only the second woman to be admitted to the Director's Guild of America.


This recipe is from "Famous Recipes of the Famous Movie Stars" from 1934. It is one of my most favorite cookbooks and features beautiful Art Deco graphics and design. I heard from Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers that this is a fantastic recipe, so I was eager to try it!


2 tbs. cornstarch

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups whipping cream


Mix cornstarch and 4 tablespoons sugar. Add milk, and cook in double broiler 10 minutes after it thickens. Add unbeaten egg yolks with remaining sugar and cook 1 minute. Add lemon juice, and set aside until cold. Then fold in whipped cream. Pour into Electrolux trays and freeze 3 hours.

Special Guest

Donna Hill is a film historian, researcher and author of the book "Rudolph Valentino The Silent Idol: His Life in Pictures." She serves on the board of the Film Preservation Society, Inc. and blogs at Strictly Vintage.

Mark A. Vieira is a filmmaker, photographer and writer. He has written eighteen books including "Cecil B. DeMille" and "Forbidden Hollywood". He has lectured at the Academy. of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, UCLA and USC and has appeared in documentaries multiple documentaries including one on Greta Garbo that aired on Turner Classic Movies. His latest book is "Warner Bros. 100 Years of Storytelling". You can find this book at Larry Edmund's in Hollywood.

Final Result

Much like Ida herself, this recipe DELIVERED the goods! I would suggest skipping a double broiler and using a sauce pan. This recipe is tart, tasty and refreshing! It is a perfect treat for summertime. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice, as that makes a big difference.

Donna suggested that you might want to cut down the sugar considerably you prefer a mousse that is more tart than sweet. She also suggested VERY slowly adding the egg yolks to the sugar, cornstarch and milk so that the eggs don't scramble. Donna said that you could opt to leave out the whipping cream and this would make is a lemon pudding instead of a mousse.

I would suggest serving it with a sprig of fresh mint and a raspberry or strawberry on top. This will certainly be part of my regular rotation of recipes.

There are tons of Ida Lupino films on DVD and Turner Classic Movies. These are some of the gems she made at Warner Bros.

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