If you like apricots, you’ll love this recipe, coupling beautiful souffle that crumbles in your mouth with the smooth, fruity taste of raspberry coulis.
Basic Vanilla Pastry Cream
For the raspberry coulis, puree the raspberries with the sugar, strain and chill until ready to serve.
For the soufflés, preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease six 8-ounce soufflé dishes and sprinkle the insides with sugar, tapping out any excess. Place the dishes onto a baking tray.
1. Heat the milk with the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean or the vanilla bean paste until just below a simmer.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Ready a bowl with the butter, placing a strainer on top of it.
3. Gradually whisk the hot milk into egg mixture and then return it all to the pot. Whisk this constantly (switching to a spatula now and again, to get into the corners) over medium heat until thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes. Pour this immediately through the strainer, whisking it through if needed, and stir in the butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard, cool to room temperature and then chill completely until ready to use.
The pastry cream will keep up to 4 days refrigerated.
Makes about 1 ½ cups.
Combine the fresh apricots, dried apricots, jam, zest and orange juice in a small pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are tender. Puree until smooth and stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur. Whisk in the pastry cream and set aside.
Whip the egg whites on medium low speed and once foamy, increase the speed to medium high and slowly pour in the sugar, whipping until the whites hold a medium peak. Fold the whipped whites into the pastry cream in 2 additions and gently spoon this into the prepared dishes. Bake the soufflés for 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Serve immediately with raspberry coulis on the side, to be poured into the centre after the first bite.
The pastry cream/apricot base can be prepared ahead of time and stored refrigerated, but can be brought to room temperature and have the whites folded in and baked right before serving.