A 1-2-3 Dessert Souffle
November 29, 2016
In the fridge was a jar of someone's homemade three-fruit marmalade. We don't eat much toast these days, so the marmalade was languishing. I decided to make a marmalade souffle as the dessert for a dinner party.
Dessert souffles are easier than savoury ones. I'd never made one using just a jar of marmalade (or preserves), but I was convinced I could do it. And sure enough, it was the most beautiful souffle--and the easiest--and the most delicious that I've ever made.
To serve four or five people, I used a one-cup jar of excellent marmalade and five eggs, separated.
Before dinner started I mixed the egg yolks into the marmalade and prepared five little souffle dishes*. As we started the main course I turned the oven to 350 degrees to preheat. Then, just before serving the cheese course, I beat the egg whites**, folded them into the yolk mixture, and divided the souffle into the five prepared dishes***.
Once the souffles were in the oven, I set the timer for 18 minutes and served the cheese course. Just as we'd had our fill of cheese and were ready to round off the meal with a sweetie, the timer rang. Because I'd never made these before, I wasn't sure how they'd turn out.
Well, they were spectacular! Each one rose a good five inches above the rim of its baking dish and the tops were golden brown****. I carried the entire baking sheet into the dining room to show them off (ooh! aah!) and then, in the kitchen, set each hot dish on a plate and distributed them to the diners.
I really recommend this for a showy end to a meal: a jar of good jam/preserves/marmalade and five eggs, divided. Couldn't be simpler.
*Each dish was buttered and then sprinkled with sugar. You could bake this in one larger dish, allowing about 40 minutes for the baking. But individual dishes cook in 15 to 20 minutes, which suited my timetable for the dinner.
**Hints for getting the best out of your egg whites: 1. Have them at room temperature before beating. 2. Be sure your bowl and beaters are sparkling clean, with not a hint of fat on them. 3. Beat them at low speed for 30 seconds, then add a pinch of cream of tartar (or a tiny squeeze of lemon juice) and gradually increase the speed to high. Hang around your stand mixer to watch the progress of the egg whites. You want them stiff but not dry.
***To facilitate getting these into and out of the oven, put all the dishes on one baking sheet.
****The thing to remember about dessert souffles, which lack a solid base of white sauce, is that they don't last long. This is my excuse for not offering you a photo of the gorgeous things; it was more important to get them to the table than to photograph them.