Meyer lemon souffle

When we lived in California, we had 3 very large fruit trees. One was a Meyer Lemon tree. If you're unfamiliar with the Meyer Lemon, it's got a much smoother skin that the supermarket type lemon, and it's a sweeter, less puckery tart taste. Still very lemony, but not so much that you can barely put one up to your teeth. Meyer Lemons make the world's best lemonade, and they also make a great lemon souffle.


Meyer Lemon Souffle

Special equipment: a 7-inch soufflé dish (6-cup capacity; 3 inches deep); a 7-inch round plus a 32- by 8-inch strip of parchment paper or wax paper

  1. Bring milk to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan, then remove from heat.
  2. Meawhile, beat yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer at high speed until thick and pale, 3 to 6 minutes (or mix in a medium bowl with an electric mixer).
  3. Reduce speed to low and add cornstarch, mixing until incorporated.
  4. Add hot milk in a slow stream, mixing slowly until smooth.

  5. Transfer custard mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring (with a spoon, not a whisk) until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl, then whisk in zest, juice and sea salt.
  7. Lightly press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, refrigerate over night, removing the mixture an hour before baking.)

  8. Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.

  9. Butter a 7-inch soufflé dish or 6 or so small ramekins, then sprinkle with sugar, turning to coat the insides and knocking out excess.
  10. Take parchment or wax paper and make collars for your dish(es): tear off a piece long enough to fit around your dish, then fold into thirds lengthwise.

  11. Beat egg whites (6 total, right) with salt in a separate large bowl at medium-high speed until foamy (be sure your beaters or whisk attachment are very clean).
  12. Add cream of tartar and increase speed to high.
  13. Beat until egg whites just hold stiff peaks.

    Stir one fourth of beaten egg whites into lemon custard to lighten, then carefully fold in remaining whites.

  14. Pour mixture into soufflé dish or ramekins.
  15. Take your folded strips of paper and wrap around the dish so that they extend 4 inches above the rim. Tape or tie to secure.

  16. Bake soufflé(s) until puffed and golden in spots, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove collar and serve immediately.

Gourmet Magazine, where I found this recipe years ago, says this makes 8 servings. I would say more like 4 to 6.

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