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Cold Lemon Soufflé

Cold Lemon Soufflé
This unbaked soufflé achieves its lofty height with the aid of a paper collar. To make a collar, cut a strip of parchment or waxed paper about 2 inches longer than the circumference of the soufflé dish. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and seal the open edge by folding it over, forming a 1-inch flap. Tape or tie the paper around the soufflé dish so that it rises 2 inches above the rim. The collar lets you fill the dish above the rim, allowing this frozen dessert to mimic the puff of a traditional oven-risen soufflé.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbs. unflavored gelatin
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped pistachios or almonds

Directions:

Fit a 4-cup soufflé dish with a collar (see headnote).

In a stainless-steel or glass bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest until thick, about 2 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice to a simmer. Slowly add to the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it falls in a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted, about 10 minutes.

In another small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soften for about 5 minutes. Heat over low heat until the gelatin dissolves; do not allow it to boil. Stir into the egg yolk mixture.

Using a balloon whisk or an electric mixer on medium-high speed, lightly whip 1 cup of the cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside. In a separate, large, spotlessly clean bowl, using a clean balloon whisk or mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Nest the bowl holding the egg yolk mixture in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water and stir gently until it begins to thicken, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully fold in the whipped cream and beaten egg whites. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish. The mixture should come to the top of the collar. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, using a balloon whisk or an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the remaining 1⁄2 cup cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Carefully remove the collar from the soufflé and spread half of the whipped cream over the top. Spoon the remaining cream into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe rosettes of cream around the edge. Gently press the pistachios into the sides of the soufflé and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: This dish includes uncooked eggs. They run a risk of being infected with salmonella or other bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning. This risk is of most concern to small children, older people, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system. If you have health and safety concerns, do not consume undercooked eggs.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, French, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2003).