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Featuring Cayenne
Semolina Cake with Blueberry Sauce, Lemon Curd, and Cayenne-Spiced Griddled Apricots
by Mark Kiffin
The Compound, Santa Fe
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: Serves 8

For semolina cake:

2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons semolina flour
3 eggs, separated
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
Zest of one small orange

For blueberry sauce:

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

For lemon curd:

7 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
Juice from 4 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

For griddled apricots:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 fresh apricots, pitted and halves

Start the semolina cake, by scalding the milk with the vanilla in a small saucepan. When the milk is scalded, take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the sugar and then the semolina. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites to make the meringue. In another bowl, stir the yolks to break them up. Take the pan back off the heat and slowly stir in the butter and the orange zest. Add a little of the semolina to the yolks to temper them. Pour the tempered yolks into the semolina and stir until well-combined and the mixture is smooth. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover it and chill until cold.

Meanwhile, butter and sugar 8 6-ounce ramekins. Whip the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until they reach stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the semolina mixture, but do not overmix. Pour the batter into the molds until they are 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes or until the tip of a fork comes out clean.

Place the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture until it reaches a boil, then add the lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat. Let cool. When the mixture has cooled, puree it in a blender or food processor. Strain through a medium mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Cover and keep chilled. Alternately, you can strain only half of the puree so that the blueberry sauce has more texture.

To make the lemon curd, stir together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 15 minutes). Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a glass bowl over an ice bath. Stir in the cream to make a smoother curd. Cover with plastic wrap covering the surface of the lemon curd and chill.

For the apricots, first combine the water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by half to make a syrup. Remove from the heat and, while still warm, stir in the cayenne pepper. Macerate the apricots in the syrup at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Remove them from the syrup, letting most of the syrup drain off. On a preheated griddle, sear the apricots, cut side down, until golden brown. Turn over to brown the other side and keep warm.


These recipes were provided by participating chefs and have not been tested by The James Beard Foundation.