I usually only make desserts when we are entertaining with friends or family. These soufflés are perfect for dinner parties as they present well and can be made in advance.
A few years ago PBS ran a short-lived series called Chef Class featuring the instructors from the culinary school at The Arts Institutes. It’s a shame that the program didn’t continue, but at least some of the recipes will live on!
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 6 medium lemons)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1. To make collars for the soufflé ramekins: Select six 4-ounce soufflé ramekins. (Alternatively, you could use four 6-ounce ramekins). Fold a 16-inch length of parchment or waxed paper in half lengthwise. Fold it lengthwise again so that the width of the paper is about 1 inch taller than the height of a ramekin. Wrap the folded paper around the outside of the ramekin and tape it in two places so that it stays in place. Repeat with the remaining ramekins and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
3. In a clean bowl, with a clean whip attachment, whip the cream to soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate 1/3 of the whipped cream to use for garnish. Set aside the remaining 2/3 of the whipped cream.
4. In a clean bowl fitted with a clean whip attachment, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest. Beat at medium-high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl, until the mixture thickens and ribbons fall from the whip when you lift it out of the mixture, 4 to 5 minutes.
5. In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice until it simmers. With the mixer at the lowest speed, slowly drizzle the lemon juice down the sides of the bowl into the yolks mixture. Stop the mixer as soon as the juice is incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set aside.
6. Combine the gelatin and water in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into the lemon mixture and stir to combine.
7. Set the bowl with the lemon mixture into an ice water bath and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the mixture begins to thicken and chills down to 85 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture set, or the soufflés will not be smooth. Remove the bowl from the ice water bath.
8. Fold in the reserved 2/3 of the whipped cream. Fold in the egg whites. Use a large spoon to transfer the mixture into the prepared soufflé ramekins. Use the back of a teaspoon to level the top of the soufflé mixture with the top of each paper collar. Place the soufflés in the freezer. For the best results, freeze until completely firm, about 12 hours. If necessary, the soufflés can be served after 4 to 6 hours of freezing time.
9. About 20 minutes before serving, carefully remove the collars from the soufflés and transfer them to the refrigerator to temper. Just before serving, garnish each with a dollop of the reserved whipped cream and some of the pistachios.
Serves 4 to 6 depending on the size of the ramekins.