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Lemon Soufflés with Raspberry Compote

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Serves 8

  • by Zoë François from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

These light, citrusy soufflés get a hit of bright color and sweet-tart flavor from the vivid raspberry compote. If you prefer, you can pair the soufflés with blood orange sauce or ginger crème anglaise instead of the compote.

For the raspberry compote
  • 8 oz. frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
For the ramekins
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
For the lemon pastry cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup strained lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the meringue
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
Make the compote

Combine all of the ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Prepare the ramekins

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter eight 6-oz. ramekins (3-1/2 inches in diameter and about 2 inches deep). Coat the insides with sugar, tapping out any excess.

Make the pastry cream

In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt. Over medium heat, whisk until the mixture bubbles, about 4 minutes; it's OK if it's lumpy at this point. Continue simmering while whisking until smooth and very thick, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water and whisk often until cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Make the meringue and assemble the soufflés

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer), beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the bubbles become smaller and the whites almost form soft peaks, 30 to 60 seconds more. With the motor still running, add the confectioners’ sugar 1 Tbs. at a time and beat until the whites hold a glossy, pointed, stiff peak when you remove the beater, about 30 seconds more. If the peak droops, finish whisking them to stiff peaks by hand to avoid overbeating.

Stir the pastry cream with a large silicone spatula to loosen it, then stir in a third of the meringue until combined. Gently fold in another third of the meringue by starting at the edge of the bowl and slowly bringing the spatula up through the middle of the pastry cream and then back to the edge of the bowl, rotating the bowl and repeating this motion until the meringue is mostly incorporated. It's OK if there are a few white streaks at this point. Add the remaining meringue and fold until just combined, leaving no white streaks visible.

Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Run your index finger around the edges of the ramekins to create a shallow trench. Put the ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of a soufflé comes out with just the tip still wet, 15 to 20 minutes. Dust the soufflés with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, and serve immediately with the sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the compote up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container.

The pastry cream can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

You can prepare the soufflés to this point up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : Sample size for 1 soufflés and 1 Tbs. of sauce.; Calories (kcal): 220; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Carbohydrates (g): 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): 150; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Followed the recipe well, they rose well but also fell after coming out of the oven. My personal bias is that they are too light, and I like rich desserts not light ones. Texture is very good.

Followed the recipe pretty closely except my ramekins are larger, or didn't make 8. Nice lemon flavor - not overpowering and not too sweet. It was great having them made ahead and then baking while we had the main course.

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