Bramley apple and blackberry soufflé
A delightful autumnal dessert from Michel Roux Jr that proves the dreaded soufflé is easier to prepare than you might think.
Equipment and preparation: you will need 4 x 10cm/4in soufflé dishes.
For the blackberry coulis
For the apple purée
- 2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- squeeze of lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 nutmeg, grated
For the soufflé
For the blackberry coulis, put the blackberries and sugar into a small pan with 100ml/3½fl oz water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about five minutes, or until the berries break down. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Tip the fruit mixture into a blender and blend to a purée, then strain through a sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a spoon. Set aside until ready to serve.
For the apple purée, put all the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the apples break down. Allow to cool slightly and then blend to a smooth purée, either using a hand-blender, or by tipping the mixture into a food processor or blender. Store any leftovers from this recipe in the fridge and use as sauce for roast pork or serve with yoghurt for breakfast.
For the soufflé, butter four individual 10cm/4in soufflé dishes using upward strokes to encourage the soufflé mixture to rise. Coat the insides with 40g of the sugar.
Heat the milk and 20g/¾oz of the sugar in a small pan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod and bring slowly to the boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks and 15g/½oz of the sugar in a bowl to a ribbon consistency. (Ribbon consistency is when the egg yolks and sugar have thickened and increased in volume to a point where a trail of the mixture holds on the surface for a second before merging back in.) Stir in the flour. Pour the hot milk onto the yolks, stirring continuously with a whisk. Return to the pan and whisk over a low heat for one minute, then pour into a bowl, cover with cling film, and cool slightly. Stir in two tablespoons of the apple purée once cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and put a baking tray inside to heat.
Ensure that your whisking equipment is clean and free from grease - otherwise it may prevent the egg whites from rising. Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until thick and frothy, then add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until the egg whites form soft peaks when the whisk is removed from the bowl. It is crucial not to over-beat the egg whites. Immediately and confidently whisk one-third of the egg whites into the apple mixture, then delicately fold in the rest with a large spoon.
Divide the mixture between the soufflé dishes to come level with the rim, burying the biscuits (if using) in the middle. Stand on the hot baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until risen a 2.5cm/1cm over the top of the dish and the top is golden-brown. Overcooking will cause the soufflés to collapse. Serve the soufflés as soon as they come out of the oven on warm plates. Make a well in the middle of the soufflé and pour in the coulis.
Use week-old or pasteurised egg whites if you can as these have less water content than fresh, which will allow them to foam more and make for a lighter soufflé. Coulis can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and used in other desserts. It’s great over ice cream or yoghurt. It should keep for about three days.
Araldica, Moscato Passito ‘Palazzina’