Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mini Lemon Souffles

Oh, Martha. I don't even know if I need to say anything else but: Oh, Martha.

Mini Lemon Souffles

serves 8 (or 4, if you're hungry)

8 lemons
3 large eggs, seperated
.5 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Trim the tip end of each lemon so it sits upright. Cut the stem end one third of the way down, reserving top. Use a paring knife to cut around the lemon flesh. Hold lemon over a sieve-covered bowl, scoop out pulp. I recommend a mini ice cream scooper and a small spoon for this duty. After cleaning out all of the lemons, squeeze the juice from the pulp in the sieve, and set aside. Place lemon hulls on prepared baking sheet.

Gosh, I am tired just typing this out. They are really cute, okay?

Combine egg yolks, .25 cup of the sugar, .25 cup reserved lemon juice, and flour in a heat-proof mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk over medium speed until pale yello, about 3 minutes. Place bowl over pan of simmering water, and whisk constantly until very thick, about 8 minutes (do you hate me yet? Did you even get this far?). Remove from heat and place back under mixer; beat on medium until cool, scraping down sides periodically, about 10 minutes. This is your flavor base (basically lemon curd), and can be made a few hour before. Transfer to bowl and wash your mixing bowl (unless you are blessed with two of them).

This is pretty much the point where I went into hyper "get it done" mode, so only pictures of the finished product form here on out. I'm not sorry.

Place egg whites and the other .25 cup of sugar in the clean, dry mixing bowl (if it isn't clean and dry your meringue won't behave). Place over the simmering water again and stir until sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm to the touch. Return to mixer and beat on low until frothy. Gradually increase speed and beat until meringue is shiney and holds a stiff peak, 2-3 minutes (do not overbeat. Lord knows what will happend, but Martha scares me).

Hold on, I need to go lie down.

Okay, I'm back. Whisk one third of the meringue into the yolk mixture, then gently fold in the remaining meringue. Carefully fill the lemon shells to just below the rims. Do it neatly, wiping off any mess on the outside of the lemon. Because I fear the wrath of Martha should you do this incorrectly.

Place baking sheet in hot oven and bake until souffle is slightly golden and has risen 1 inch above the lemon shell, about 14 minutes. To serve, shake confectioners suger over the whole thing and place the lemon top alongside in a jaunty, Martha-esque manner. Serve to your guest, then go lie down with a cool compress on your forehead and a large glass of wine. Your guests will be so delighted by the cute lemon that they won't notice.

They were fine, by the way. A little sour, which is I'm sure my fault, for not trying to reach Martha-levels of perfection. But overall tasty.


Skeezix said...

Damn! Those look like lemony perfection. Lemon souffles have got to be one the best things ever.

Martha, she is my goddess.

LE said...

These pictures are so delightful!

Is this dessert one that you need to bake while guests are relaxing from dinner, in order to serve them hot, or can they sit for a little while?

Marianne said...

Ellie, unfortunately, the flavored base can be made ahead of time, but the whites should be folded in and souffles filled right before cooking. And they should be served warm. However, I had everything ready, eggs whites already in the bowl, and it took me only 15 minutes away from company, who really ended up follwoing me into the kitchen any way.

ZigKvetch said...

I may or may not be crying right now, I want one of those so badly.

MM said...

This is the second time I've seen these made and they are really calling to me ... Mama, eat me!

Lisa said...

Those are adorable! The reason they say not to overbeat the meringue is because you want it to be able to expand and rise more in the oven and if your meringue is super stiff, it won't do as well.

Anonymous said...

Well -- I finally found your blog site -- it's great & looks like such fun. The food is fantastic, too.
I'll come back often - Chuck is Cool.

LE said...

I'm making these next week for my First Day of Spring! party. One more question: can the curd be refridgerated and mixed immediately with the egg whites, or should it be at room temp?

Marianne said...

Ellie, I think the base needs to be at room temperature before mixing. Chilling the base will thicken the mixture even more, and might make it tough to mix in the white. Cute idea for a party, let me know how it goes!

Erin Eats said...

These are gorgeous, I've had sorbets in lemon cups, but never thought of actually baking in them! Thanks for the recipe.