Elegant, individual apricot soufflés served with vanilla creme anglaise.
6 ounces dried apricots (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional, for coating ramekins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salt 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 sugar
Pinch of salt
- For Apricot Soufflés: In a heavy saucepan simmer apricots, water, and 1/2 cup sugar, covered, 20 minutes. Transfer hot mixture to a food processor and purée until very smooth. Force purée through a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in lemon juice, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Transfer purée to a large bowl and cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously butter six 7-ounce (3 1/2 x 1 3/4-inch) ramekins and dust with additional sugar, tapping out excess. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.
- In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Beat in cream of tartar and beat whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat meringue until it just holds stiff peaks.
- Whisk about 1/4 of the meringue into purée and then fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly. Ladle batter into prepared ramekins,
- Bake soufflés in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and just set in center.
- Remove ramekins from oven. With 2 forks pull open center of each soufflé and pour some Vanilla Creme Anglaise into each opening. Serve soufflés immediately.
- For Vanilla Creme Anglaise: In a small heavy saucepan bring half-and-half just to a boil with vanilla bean and remove pan from heat. Scrape seeds from bean with a knife into half-and-half, reserving pod for 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 small stream. Return custard to pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, but do not let boil. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally. Chill sauce, covered, until very cold, at least 2 hours. Makes 2 1/4 cups.
Makes 6 servings.
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine.