Hot lemon curd soufflés
Equipment and preparation: You will need four ramekins with a base diameter of 2½ inches (6cm), a top diameter of 3 inches (7.5cm), 2 inches (5cm) deep, lightly buttered, and a small, solid baking sheet.
For the soufflés
- 3 large eggs
- 2oz (50g) plus 1 level dessertspoon golden caster sugar
- 1 medium unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest and juice (2 tablespoons juice)
- a little sifted icing sugar, to serve
For the quick-method lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
To make the lemon curd, lightly whisk the egg in a medium saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients. Now place the saucepan over a medium heat and whisk continuously using a balloon whisk until the mixture thickens; this won't take long, about 3 minutes. Next, lower the heat to minimum and let the curd gently simmer for 1 minute, continuing to whisk. Remove it from the heat and divide the curd between the bases of the ramekins. (This can all be done well in advance, but cover and leave at room temperature).
When you're ready to make the soufflés, separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a medium bowl and the whites into a spanking-clean larger one. Now, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the whites to the stiff-peak stage, which will take 4–5 minutes, starting on a slow speed and gradually increasing to medium and then high. Then add the dessertspoon of caster sugar and whisk on a high speed for 30 seconds more. Next, add the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 2oz (50g) of sugar to the yolks and mix them together briefly. Now take a tablespoon of the whites and fold them into the yolks to loosen the mixture, then fold the rest of the whites in using a light cutting and folding movement so as not to lose the precious air. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, piling it high like a pyramid, then run a finger round the inside rim of each one.
Next place them on the baking sheet and put this in the oven on the centre shelf for 15–17 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Then remove them and let them settle for about 5 minutes to allow the lemon curd to cool. They will sink a little, but that's normal. Just before serving, place them on smaller plates and give them a light dusting of icing sugar.