Delicious decadence by moonlight
Make Edvard Grieg’s favorite dessert at home
Christy Olsen Fleld
Taste of Norway Editor
In honor of Edvard Grieg, I am excited to share his favorite dessert: Måneskinnspudding, or Moonlight Pudding. It’s a creamy lemon mousse stabilized with gelatin, served with a creamy eggedosis (a Norwegian egg sauce) and topped with berries.
It’s both decadent and light as air, and the egg sauce elevates it to a special dessert. Måneskinnspudding is easy to prepare the day before, and it’s an elegant finale to any meal.
Grieg was a regular diner at the Engebret Café in the heart of Oslo. The storied restaurant, which opened in 1857, was also frequented by Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Knut Hamsun, Sigrid Undset, and other Norwegian luminaries. Today, it is known for its traditional Norwegian food.
Engebret Café notes on their website that at Grieg’s last big celebration at their restaurant in 1906, the menu included “tortoise soup, roasted deer filet, and moonlight pudding, with lots of champagne.”
Beyond that, information on måneskinnspudding is sparse. It isn’t mentioned in my stack of Scandinavian cookbooks at home, and Google searches did little to illuminate the Norwegian history of this dessert.
Upon some further research, I learned that this dessert is related to Bavarian Cream, or crème bavaroise: egg and cream mousse stabilized with gelatin.
I adapted this recipe from DetSoteLiv.no, the popular Norwegian food blog by Kristine Ilstad.
A couple notes on making this dessert:
• I use powdered gelatin instead of sheet gelatin, because it’s easier to find in American grocery stores.
• When whipping the egg whites, be sure that the bowl and wire whip are very clean. Any residue of fat, either from the whipped cream or egg yolks, can negatively affect whipping the egg whites, which are essential to adding the airy texture to the pudding. I know it is an extra step to wash the bowl, but the final texture is worth it.
• I also need to add a note of caution: This dessert is made with three additions of raw eggs. Use the freshest, high-quality eggs you can find. If you are serving to immunocompromised people or feel nervous about using raw eggs, this might not be the right dessert for you.
3 ½ tsps. powdered gelatin
1⁄3 cup cool water
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps. boiling water
1 lemon, for juice and zest
1 ½ cups whipping cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
In a small bowl, pour 1/3 cup cool water and sprinkle the powdered gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the gelatin bloom. Meanwhile, separate three eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow in color. Add the lemon zest to the egg mixture. Add 2 tbsps. boiling water to the bloomed gelatin, and stir gently to melt the gelatin. Stir in the lemon juice to the gelatin mixture, and whisk it into the egg-yolk mixture.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, whip the whipping cream to soft peaks, and fold into the egg mixture. Clean the bowl and wire whip thoroughly, and beat the three egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the pudding until combined. At this point, you can pour the mixture into a dessert serving bowl, or individual glass dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least four hours or overnight.
Right before serving, whip the remaining three eggs and sugar into a thick, bright yellow sauce. Serve with a bit of the egg sauce and garnish with berries.
Do you have more information about Måneskinnspudding? I’d love to hear from you! Write to me at email@example.com.
Christy Olsen Field became the Taste of Norway Editor in April 2019. She worked on the editorial staff of the Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012, and then as a contributor until 2017. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons. In her free time, she is a grantwriter for small nonprofits in the Seattle area. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the October 4, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.