Yet another recipe from Ruth Reichl
's delicious memoirs, Tender at the Bone
. For more from the collection of recipes in her book click here
. Thanks to the fabulous french chefs she met when she was in parochial school
here is everything you need to know to make the perfect and dreaded souffle. happy cooking! =)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Separate eggs carefully; if there is the tiniest bit of yolk in the whites they will not beat properly, so be sure to separate them thouroughly and to put the whites into an extrememly clean, dry bowl. You will need all the whites but only four of the yolks. Eggs are the easiest to separate when cold, but they are easier to beat at room temperature so this first step to allow the yolks to warm up.
Butter a 1 1/4 quart souffle mold very well. Throw in a handful of sugar and shake the souffle dish till it has a thin coating of sugar on the inside. (like you were flouring a cake pan) Shake out excess. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the flour and whisk till well blended. Slowly stir in milk. Cook, stirring, until the mixture has almost reached the boiling point and has become thick and smooth.
Add lemon juice and sugar and cook for two minutes more. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cool slightly.
Add four yolks, one at a time, beating to incorporate each one before adding the next. Add lemon rind, then return the pan to the stove and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute more over medium heat. Remove and let cool.
Add a pinch of salt to the six egg whites and beat with a clean beater until they form soft peaks. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the sauce, then carefully fold in the rest.
Pour into the souffle mold and set on the middle rack of the oven. Turn heat down to 400 degrees F and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the souffle has risen about two inches over the top of the dish.