Some desserts are like sweet time capsules. They whirl me back to childhood…digging into mint chip ice cream cake every year on my birthday, picking out the chocolate pudding from my lunchbox and eating it first.
This feather-light soufflé is all about summer. And with the season quickly slipping away, it’s the perfect recipe to keep around, so you can taste the juiciest of summer strawberries even when they’re gone.
I promise this soufflé is easy and fail-proof, as long as you follow the directions and don’t attempt it on a humid day (not worth the rubbery result). The best version uses fresh strawberries, but frozen berries will work fine, too, as long as they are organic. My off-season cheat? Substitute a half cup of your best strawberry jam for the berries and sugar. The lemon juice will wake the fruit right back up, and you can be whisked right back to those dog days all year ‘round.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup superfine or granulated sugar, plus more for preparing ramekins
12 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Powdered sugar for dusting
Vanilla bean ice cream, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Position the top oven rack in the lower-middle of the oven. Prepare four small ramekins by brushing the insides completely with melted butter and coating them evenly with sugar.
2. In a blender, purée the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the sugar, lemon juice, strawberry and vanilla extracts until smooth.
3. In a large, clean metal bowl, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar and a teaspoon of the remaining sugar until frothy. Continue whisking until soft peaks begin to form, then gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar, beating until the peaks are stiff and glossy. Gently whisk in the strawberry purée. Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins, topping them off (You can either level off the tops with a knife or leave the peaks for a more rustic look.).
4. Bake 15-18 minutes (no peeking in the first 15 minutes). Using the oven light, check to make sure the soufflés have risen and the tops are browned. Quickly remove the soufflés from the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve immediately, passing the ice cream if desired.
What to do with leftover egg yolks? Don’t toss them! The Lemon Curd on page 141 of Summertime Anytime would make a perfect dessert for a balmy night. But you’ll have to own the book first.
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Photo credits: bakingbites.com and hellomagazine.com