When I first discovered the Classic French challenge over on Blue Kitchen Bakes I was more than happy to participate. I have strong ties to France and love everything about their whole way of life. When January’s theme was announced I knew it would be a good chance for me to try out the classic soufflé – something I haven’t made since my early days of cooking. My last attempt was a bit of a disaster. I can remember we had some friends over for dinner and I had prepared everything for the soufflé up until the addition of egg whites. We had our first and second course along with copious amounts of wine. The time came to finish off my soufflés. Disaster – they were as flat as a pancake. The taste was still good and everyone very kindly finished them off. It was only when we went to tidy up and I found the bowl of egg whites that I realised my mistake. A soufflé with no egg whites does not a soufflé make.
So fast forward to 2013 and with lessons learnt I’m ready to master the soufflé. My Mum had been raving about these pear soufflés so I knew what I would make. When she sent me the recipe she put a little note at the bottom telling me that I had about 2 minutes to photograph them before they would collapse. 2 minutes – are you serious? I have only just progressed from taking my camera off its Auto setting. Exposure, Aperture, ISO etc. are all new terms to me and do not come naturally. We also have absolutely no decent natural light at the moment which makes things even harder. I thought I would give it a try and with everything set up close at hand I made my first batch. One click, two clicks, three clicks, flat soufflés and of course no decent images. Next batch in the oven, one click, two clicks, three clicks, flat soufflés, lighting has changed and exposure settings wrong. Next batch in the oven, perfect soufflés, lighting much the same, this time it’s going to work, trip over my tripod, flat soufflés. Next batch in the oven (yes I really do have that much patience), soufflés even better than the last, manage to avoid the tripod, lighting as good as it’s going to get, press the button, nothing happens, press again in desperation, nothing happens, check the camera, battery flat.
So after all that – were the soufflés good?
Yes, they were.
They had much more flavour than I ever imagined they would. As expected, they were light and airy and this is my only problem with them. I don’t often get to eat desserts so when I do I want something with a bit of substance, something that I can savour over time. These soufflés were delicious but gone in a flash, leaving me wanting more.
So here we have my shaky, rather dull photo of what is a delicious pear soufflé.
- small amount of melted butter and caster sugar for the ramekins
- 6 large ripe pears
- 50 ml granulated sugar
- 125 ml pear juice (I used Copella Apple & Pear juice )
- 3 eggs separated
- 1 tsp cornflour
- small amount of butter and caster sugar for the ramekins
- Preheat oven to 190° C
- To prepare your ramekins, brush with melted butter and coat thoroughly with caster sugar.
- Peel, core and chop the pears.
- Poach with the sugar and pear juice until liquid is reduced by half.
- Add cornflour and egg yolks to the puree and warm through to thicken, stirring constantly.
- Beat egg whites to medium peak stage.
- Add a 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the pear custard and mix in well.
- Fold the remaining egg white mixture into the egg custard.
- Fill your ramekins with your mixture and smooth over the top with a pallet knife.
- Run your finger round the edges to make a small indent.
- Bake for 9 – 10 minutes.
- Sift over some icing sugar and serve immediately.