Cold Lemon Cream Soufflé

I am thrilled with this recipe. It is lilting, refreshing and intensely lemony yet mellow and creamy at the same time. I created it for people who are concerned with the safety of eating raw eggs but discovered that cooking the eggs is actually a great improvement because it results in an extraordinarily voluptuous texture.

If you wish to make the soufflé less rich, it can be prepared with only half a cup of cream, or you can even omit the cream completely and it will still be delicious and “creamy.” This is a fabulous dessert for entertaining as it freezes perfectly for up to six weeks and so can be made well ahead.

Setting time: at least 4 hours
KEEPS: 5 days refrigerated, 6 weeks frozen.
INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
room temperature volume ounces grams
heavy cream 1 liquid cup
Lemon Curd
lemon zest, finely grated 2 teaspoons 4 grams
4 large egg yolks ¼ liquid cup 2.5 ounces 74 grams
sugar ¼ cup 1.75 ounces 50 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 3 fluid ounces
unsalted butter, softened 4 tablespoons 2 ounces 57 grams
salt a pinch
Light Italian Meringue
powdered gelatin teaspoons
water, divided 2 tablespoons + ¼ liquid cup
sugar, divided ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons 6 ounces 175 grams
4 large egg whites ½ liquid cup 4.5 ounces 120 grams
cream of tartar ½ teaspoon
OPTIONAL: Cordon Rose Raspberry Sauce or Quick Raspberry Sauce and fresh berries

Method

Lemon Curd

In a large mixing bowl, place the heavy cream and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the mixer beater alongside the bowl.)

Put the lemon zest into a medium bowl, suspend a strainer over the bowl and set it near the range.

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 the mixture is thickened and resembles hollandaise sauce (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 the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue (or consider it the cook’s dividend!). Stir to mix in the zest, and allow the lemon curd to cool completely.

When the lemon curd has cooled, beat the chilled 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 two together until the mixture is completely uniform. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap (preferably Saran brand) and refrigerate.

Light Italian Meringue

Have ready a 1-cup heatproof liquid measure by the range.

In a small heatproof measuring cup, combine the gelatin and the 2 tablespoons of water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then 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 a nonstick lining, stir together the ¾ cup of sugar and the ¼ cup of water until the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Immediately stop stirring and turn down the heat to the lowest setting. (If using an electric range, remove from the heat.)

In a mixing bowl, preferably using the whisk beater of a stand mixer, 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 and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Increase the heat under the syrup 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 a hand-held electric mixer, beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. Don’t allow any syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off, then 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 curd mixture in three parts. Spoon into the mold. Tap the mold on a counter to help settle the mixture and prevent large air bubbles at the bottom.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or freeze. Transfer the frozen soufflé from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 6 hours before serving.

To serve: Chill the presentation plate. Moisten the plate with water so that it will be easy to reposition and center the soufflé. 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 in the warm water until the soufflé begins to slide when tilted. Release the suction by slipping a long spatula or knife blade between the soufflé and the side of the mold, all the way to the bottom of the mold.

Pour some of the optional raspberry sauce onto the top so that it drips decoratively down the sides or pour it in a pool around the base and center. Garnish with fresh seasonal berries if desired. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

*The Cordon Rose candy thermometer is available through Dean & DeLuca (800-227-7714).

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