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[Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]

Mousse has long endured a reputation for being a fussy, frou frou dessert, but this perception is completely unwarranted. True, making chocolate mousse in the traditional French manner (using nothing but egg whites to lighten it) can be tricky for the novice cook. On the other hand, mousse made with whipped cream stabilized with gelatin is a wonderful, versatile game-changer for those who fear French mousses. This style is much more forgiving to make, and since it's stable and "bomb-proof", it can be used as a filling for cakes, cream puffs, and of course, pie.

As summer ekes out its final weeks, I've started thinking about how to make the most of frozen berries in the months ahead. I've already touted their baking virtues for double-crusted fruit pies, and I find them equally enchanting when used as the base for fruit mousses as well. After all, these mousses all begin with two components, fruit puree and whipped cream, and frozen fruit is a convenient and consistent raw material for making purees. I often prefer it to fresh fruit puree because the fruit has been frozen at the peak of freshness, so the results are more consistent.

This raspberry mousse, made the easy way, is the perfect filling for those who dream of airy cream pies. The luscious filling is just sweet enough to balance the tart raspberries, and the color is quite dramatic on the dinner table. It's a perfect make-ahead dessert for when you're craving berries, no matter what the season.

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Raspberry Mousse Pie »

About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute and holds a CS Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.

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