Putting together a dinner for our dear good friend Eugenia Bone, author of the fab Well-Preserved (James Beard Award finalist), At Mesa's Edge and Italian Family Dining (this last one co-written with dad Ed Giobbe), is always cause for something special. Her original gourmet recipes (like this Strawberry Soufflé), bringing together her Italian heritage, her enthusiasm for all things the fresh-from-the farm and foraged-from-nature's-bounty have been a great pleasure and source of inspiration. BTW she's no slacker in the fashion department either; her snazzy pants in our cranberry bog adventure got way more feedback than the matters at hand.
Anyway, when folks ask "is there anything I can bring," I try to suggest something I feel appropriate to their abilities. Sorry all you ice- and soda-bringers. But Gena — free reign!
Recently she volunteered to cover desserts and these Spectacularly Delicious strawberry souffles were the result. Gena blogs for the Denver Post , (hence the high-altitude advice), the source of this strawberry souffle and strawberry puree (use some immediately and can the rest). Here's her report on her first test-drive of the soufflés, and their reprise chez nous were blissfully every bit as successful.
Gena says: Well finally I got a chance to test this soufflé. It’s very delicate and a bit tangy—not as intense as I usually like my foods, but I inhaled these two servings because the glimmering strawberry flavor was pretty addicting.
For my high altitude readers, making soufflé can be a drag—it tends to over-rise and then deflate. I’ll be at 6500 feet in another two weeks, and will test it again then, but from a little cursory research it looks like you can’t whip those eggs whites to stiff peaks. Better to have a soft whip–gentle mounds, if you will.
I’ve adapted a chocolate soufflé recipe that Mark Bittman published in The New York Times—I like it more than my old soufflé recipe because it doesn’t call for a béchamel (although flour soufflés do have more structure, which is beneficial the higher the altitude). Anyway, I’ve tried it with raspberry puree as well as strawberry and both are super tasty.
I like to serve the soufflé in individual ramekins—it’s just easier and I think it looks prettier. I use one-cup capacity ramekins.
I’m still testing how long the prepared soufflés can hold in the fridge before being cooked without losing their, well, risibility. I’m trying them at 6 hours resting and overnight. Will let you know.
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons strawberry puree (see my earlier post, Strawberry Puree, for the recipe and how to can it)
Set a rack about 2/3 the way up in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
Butter 6 1-cup capacity ramekins and dust with sugar.
Beat the yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until the egg is light and falls from the beater in ribbons. Add the strawberry puree, combine, and set aside.
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt and tartar until stiff and glossy.
Add a large spoonful of the egg white to the egg yolk mixture to soften it. Then fold in the remaining egg whites carefully.
Fill the ramekins, place on a cookie tray and bake for 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Voilà. Eugenia Bones original gourmet Strawberry Soufflés.
CLICK HERE FOR STRAWBERRY PUREE RECIPE