Plum soufflés with cardamom and orange
* 60g melted unsalted butter, for brushing * 50g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting * 200g egg whites (from around 5 eggs), at room temperature * 300g plum purée (see below) * Icing sugar, for dusting Plum Purée * 400g plums, quartered and pitted * Seeds from 3 cardamom pods * 80g caster sugar * Zest and juice of ½ large orange * 20g cornflour
To make the purée, put the plums into a saucepan. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cardamom seeds with ½tsp of the sugar and add to the pan with the rest of the sugar, orange zest and juice. Cover and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes until the plums are soft. Cool briefly, then blitz to a purée in a food mixer and pass through a sieve. Measure 300g of purée and return to the cleaned pan.
In a bowl, mix the cornflour with 3tbsp of the remaining purée, then tip into the pan of purée. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring, until it thickens. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
To make the soufflés, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Grease six small soufflé dishes (approx 200ml volume) with melted butter. Dust with caster sugar, then refrigerate the dishes to set the butter.
Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until they start to froth. Then, with the motor running, scatter on the sugar and whisk to medium-stiff glossy peaks.
Lightly whisk two large spoonfuls of the whisked egg whites into the plum purée. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the rest.
Spoon the mixture into the dishes and run a knife around the rim to help the soufflés rise. Put them in a baking tin and pour in boiling water a quarter of the way up the sides. Bake for 10–15 minutes until well risen.
Dust the soufflés with icing sugar and serve immediately with ice cream.