Elegant apricot souffles served with vanillacreme anglaise.
Recipe: Apricot Souffles
6 ounces dried apricots (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 1/2 cups water 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional, for coatingramekins 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractSalt as needed 5 large egg whites 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Vanilla Creme Anglaise:2 cups half-and-half 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 5 large egg yolks 1/4 cup granulated sugarPinch of salt
In a heavy saucepan simmer apricots, water,and 1/2 cup sugar, covered, 20 minutes. Transfer hot mixtureto a food processor and puree until very smooth. Force pureethrough a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in lemon juice, vanillaand a pinch of salt. Transfer puree to a large bowl and coolcompletely.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).Generously butter six 7-ounce (3 1/2 x 1 3/4-inch) ramekins anddust with additional sugar, tapping out excess. Place ramekinson a baking sheet and set aside.
In another large bowl with an electricmixer beat whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Beat in creamof tartar and beat whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat inremaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat meringueuntil it just holds stiff peaks.
Whisk about 1/4 of the meringue into pureeand then fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly. Ladlebatter into prepared ramekins,
Bake souffles in middle of oven 20 to25 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and just set in center.
Remove ramekins from oven. With 2 forkspull open center of each souffle and pour some Vanilla CremeAnglaise into each opening. Serve souffles immediately. For VanillaCreme Anglaise: In a small heavy saucepan bring half-and-halfjust to a boil with vanilla bean and remove pan from heat. Scrapeseeds from bean with a knife into half-and-half, reserving podfor another use if desired.
In a bowl whisk together yolks, sugar,and a pinch of salt and whisk in hot half-and-half in a smallstream. Return custard to pan and cook over moderately low heat,stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, butdo not let boil. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowland cool, stirring occasionally. Chill sauce, covered, untilvery cold, at least 2 hours. Makes2 1/4 cups.
Makes 6 servings.
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine.
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