Monday, August 27, 2007

Souffle Tuesday: Pears A-Plenty

These Comice pears on the tree just outside our kitchen window won't be ready for picking for another few weeks, but good pears are beginning to appear in the markets, which means I'll soon be making one of my favorite dessserts: Poire William Souffle with Fresh Pear Slices.
The recipe is an adaptation of Christopher Idone's Chartreuse Souffle from his aptly named book "Glorious Food." For years I made it just as Idone instructed, but the mocking comments on an on-line community called The Well ("Chartruese tastes disgusting" being one of the milder gibes) led me to substitute pear liquer for the Chartruese and fresh pear slices for Idone's rich creme anglaise.
If you happen to have a 9 x 13.5 x 1.5" tin-lined oval copper pan, you'll find your souffle will look gratifyingly similar to the gorgeous photo in Idone's book. Lacking that particular pan, use any shallow oven-proof dish that comes close to those dimensions.

Poire William Souffle

9 egg whites
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup Poire William
Confectioners ' sugar
2 ripe pears -- preferably Comice -- sliced

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Butter the souffle pan and dust with granulated sugar.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until fluffy; then add 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tartar; continue to beat until soft peaks form.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth and lemon-colored. Fold in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and then fold in the Poire William.
Stir one heaping spoonful of egg whites into the yolk mixture; then lightly fold in the remaining whites.
Transfer the mixture to the souffle pan, shaping the surface into peaks.
Place the pan on the lowest shelf of the oven and bake 12-15 minutes or until the souffle is puffed and browned on top.
Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately, accompanied by a bowl of the sliced pears. Serves 6.


mickey said...

Your souffles are so imaginative and lovely. I think you have a thing for souffle. I look forward to seeing more in the future.

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