Individual hot lemon soufflés

by Kathy Paterson | Cuisine issue #124
Serves: 6Making hot soufflés can seem a daunting task, but make them once and you will never look back.

They are light and delicious, and emerging from the kitchen with dishes overflowing with floating golden soufflé adds a bit of theatre. The sauce can be made in advance up to adding the egg yolks. When ready to finish, just reheat the sauce gently. Warm ingredients hold more air which in turn helps the soufflés to rise. I like to serve these with candied peel and have included Stephanie Alexander’s recipe. Otherwise you can buy it.

butter for greasing
2 large lemons
300ml milk
25g flour
2 tablespoons cream
70g caster sugar
25g butter
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190°C fanbake. Lightly butter 6 oval ramekins (7cm x 4cm deep). Tie a collar of baking paper around each (fold paper to 8cm, then fold a 2cm pleat at the bottom).

Peel the lemons with a lemon peeler, making sure not to remove any pith, and place in a heavy-based saucepan with the milk. Heat the milk to boiling point then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for around 10 minutes. Discard the peel.

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the cream then blend in the milk. Return to a clean saucepan and stir over a low heat until boiling then add the sugar. Remove from the heat, put small pieces of butter over the surface of the sauce and leave for 5 minutes.

Beat the yolks in one at a time. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold 1 tablespoonful into the sauce, then cut and fold in the rest.

Spoon into the ramekins and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve at once. If overcooked, the soufflés will deflate more quickly.

Stephanie alexander's candied peel
lemons, halved and squeezed
sugar
caster sugar

Cut each lemon shell into 4-6 pieces, leaving the squeezed flesh in. Place in a heavy-based saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil, then drain. Repeat this process twice to remove the bitterness from the fruit, then drain well.

Weigh the fruit then return to the pan with the same weight in sugar. Cook gently for 1 hour until the peel is translucent. Drain the peel and dry on a cake rack resting over a tray somewhere out of the way of ants. This can take a couple of days; turn after 12 hours. When dry, roll the peel in caster sugar and store in airtight jars.

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