Plum souf­flés with car­damom and orange

Serves 6

Living Etc - - ENTERTAINING / ETC -

* 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.

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