lemon cream soufflé
Celebrations, William Morrow, 1992
I am thrilled with this recipe. It is lifting, refreshing and intensely
lemony yet mellow and creamy at the same time. Heating the meringue
with the hot sugar syrup results in an extraordinary voluptuous texture.
If you wish to make the soufflé less rich, it can be prepared
with half the cream or with no cream at all and still be delicious.
This is a fabulous dessert for entertaining as it freezes perfectly
for several weeks so it can be made well ahead.
One 8 cup decorative mold (or a 6 cup decorative mold and wine goblets
or dessert dishes for the 1 1/2 cups remaining mixture), lightly sprayed
with non-stick vegetable shortening or lightly oiled (Tupperware makes
an excellent 6 cup mold with an upper lid to release the suction, which
makes unmolding a dream). In a large mixing bowl place the heavy cream
and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (Chill the beater alongside the
- 1 liquid
cup heavy cream
- 4 large
eggs, separated yolks and whites to be reserved
cup (1.75 oz) sugar
- 2 tsp.
finely grated lemon zest
- 3 fluid
oz or 6 tbsp. finely squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tbsp.
(2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4
tsp. powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp.
egg whites, see above
cup + 2 tbsp. (6 oz) sugar
liquid cup water
tsp. cream of tartar
Lemon Curd Have ready near the range a strainer, suspended over
a medium bowl which contains the lemon zest. In a heavy noncorrodible
saucepan beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. Stir in the remaining
ingredients except the lemon zest. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring
constantly, until thickened and resembling hollandaise sauce, which thickly
coats a wooden spoon but is still liquid enough to pour. The mixture will
change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on a yellow color
on the back of a wooden spoon. It must not be allowed to boil or it will
curdle. Whenever steam appears, remove the pan briefly from the heat,
stirring constantly, to keep the mixture from boiling. When the curd has
thickened, pour it at once into the strainer. Press with the back of a
spoon until only coarse residue remains. Discard the reside (or consider
it the cook's dividend!). Stir to mix in the zest to allow the lemon curd
to cool completely. When the lemon curd is cooled, beat the cream only
until the cream mounds softly when dropped from a spoon. Add the lemon
curd and with a whisk or rubber spatula, fold the 2 together until completely
uniform. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Pointers for Success for the Lemon Curd For finely grated
zest, use a zester (a small implement with tiny scaping holes), a vegetable
peeler or fine grater to remove the yellow portion only. The white pith
beneath is bitter. If using the zester or peeler, finish by chopping the
zest with a sharp knife. If a lemon is heated (about 10 seconds in a microwave
oven on high power) and rolled around while pressing on it lightly, it
will release a significantly greater quantity of juice. To prevent curdling,
be sure to mix the sugar with the yolks before adding the lemon juice.
Use a heavy, noncorrodible pan which conducts heat evenly or a double
boiler. To further prevent curdling, do not allow the mixture to boil.
Remove the curd immediately from the heat when thickened and strain at
once as the residual heat in the pan will raise the temperature. (If you
are working with an accurate thermometer*, the temperature of the thickened
curd will be 196 F.)
Light Italian Meringue Have ready a 1 cup heat-proof liquid measure
by the range. In a small heatproof measuring cup, place the gelatin and
water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Set the cup in a pan of simmering
water for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved.
(This can also be done in a few seconds in a microwave on high power,
stirring once or twice.) In a small heavy saucepan, preferably with non-stick
lining, stir together the 3/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup of water until
the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the
sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and turn down
the heat to the lowest setting. (If using an electric range remove it
from the heat.) In a mixing bowl, using the whisk beater, beat the egg
whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks
form when the beater is raised slowly. Gradually beat in the remaining
2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised
slowly. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until a thermometer registers
248 F to 250 F (firm-ball stage). Immediately pour into the glass measure
to stop the cooking. If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup
into the whites in a steady stream, avoiding the beaters to keep syrup
from spinning onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour
a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately
beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount
of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining
syrup. With the last addition use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup
clinging to the measure. Lower the speed to medium, add the gelatin mixture
and beat at medium speed until cool (about 2 minutes). Use a large balloon
whisk or rubber spatula to fold the Italian meringue into the lemon cream
mixture in 3 parts. Spoon into the mold. Tap the mold on a counter to
help settle the mixture and prevent the large air bubbles at the bottom.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or freeze. Remove from the freezer to
the refrigerator at least 6 hours before serving. To unmold: chill the
presentation plate. Moisten the plate with water so that it will be easy
to reposition and center the souffl┌. Dip the mold in warm water for 20
seconds. If using the Tupperware mold, remove the large lid and invert
it onto the plate. Remove the small upper lid. This releases the suction
and the mousse will drop from the mold onto the plate. If using a mold
without this upper lid, dip it into the water until the souffle slides
when tilted. Release the suction by slipping a long spatula or knife blade
between the side of the souffl┌ and the mold, all the way to the top.
Keeps: 5 days refrigerated, 6 weeks frozen
Pointers for Success for the Italian Meringue The syrup
for the Italian meringue must not get hotter than 250 F or the whites
will not incorporate air and thicken. * Accurate thermometers can be found
at New York Cake & Baking Distributors 800-942-2539 or La Cuisine 800-521-1176.