At this time of year, I'm using up the last of my home grown apples, but crumble palls after a while.... Back to the books! My all-time inspiration, Claire MacDonald, has come up trumps with this delicious soufflé. Don't panic, it is very well-behaved, and, providing you get it all ready apart from the egg whites, you can time it to perfection (nothing is sadder than a sinking soufflé), as there is a 45-40 minute time slot between putting it into the oven and receiving the congratulations of your appreciative family! OK, I paraphrase slightly, but you get the idea.... The photo below doesn't really do it justice, but speed was of the essence.
|Apple and Calvados Soufflé|
Apple base layer:
6 dessert apples, peeled and sliced
4oz/110g soft brown sugar
Soufflé top layer:
¾ pint/450ml milk
¼ pint/150ml Calvados or apple brandy
2oz/50g caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
Butter a 3 pint/2l soufflé dish and dust it with caster sugar. Make the apple base by melting the butter and sugar together, stirring until they have dissolved, then boiling for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes, before pouring into the dish. Heat the oven to 200 deg C.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour until there are no lumps before adding the milk slowly. I use a small whisk to do this, which seems to eliminate the lumps better than a wooden spoon. Bring the sauce to the boil to thicken, then take it off the heat and stir in the Calvados, the sugar and the yolks, one at a time.
Whisk the egg whites until firm and fold into the mixture using a metal spoon. When it is reasonably well mixed, ie, not too many egg white islands, pour over the apple base.
Cook for about 35-40 minutes until it is risen and browned. Serve immediately, dusted with icing sugar.
You can make most of this in advance, just up to the stage of whisking the egg whites.