Plum Soufflé with Orange Custard Sauce

To bring out the intense flavors of fruit purées for these soufflés, we substituted all egg whites for the usual egg yolk base. They create a dramatic look as they rise beautifully. The most ethereal soufflé Jeremiah ever baked was made from wild strawberries for James Beard in 1976.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ripe plums (about 9), pitted and cut into eighths
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • ¾ cup egg whites (about 6)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 recipe Orange Custard Sauce

A 1½-quart ovenproof soufflé dish

Method

Put the plum slices in a large sauté pan. Add ½ cup of the sugar, the lemon juice, and salt. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the plums are soft.

Put the plum mixture in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and purée. Strain through a medium-holed sieve to eliminate the skins. There should be about cups of purée. Refrigerate the purée until it is cold.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and sugar the inside of the soufflé dish.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip them on medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed, add the cream of tartar, and whip until soft peaks form.

Continue whipping and slowly add the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in a steady stream. Whip until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold the plum purée into the egg whites. Do not completely incorporate; the soufflé batter should still have slight streaks of plum purée. Gently spread the batter in the prepared dish. Tap the dish gently on the counter and swirl the top with your finger, making a slight peak in the middle of the soufflé.

Bake the soufflé for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. The middle will still be creamy.

Dust the top of the soufflé with the powdered sugar and serve immediately with the orange custard sauce on the side.

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