Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Little Lemon Soufflés

Servings: 8
These light and fluffy little lemon soufflés make a lovely addition to a summertime brunch or dinner. They are not as difficult to make as some would think and your guests will thoroughly enjoy them on a warm day at brunch or on a balmy evening after dinner.

1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated and divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting tops of soufflés

1. Adjust oven rack to the lowest possible position. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Butter 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or oven-proof dessert cups, and dust lightly with 2 tablespoons sugar; refrigerate on a baking sheet until ready to use.

3. Scald milk* (see below) and lemon zest over medium heat. Remove from heat, and cool.

4. Beat remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 egg yolks with an electric mixer in a large bowl 3 to 4 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down side of bowl several times. (Discard third yolk.) Mix in flour gradually until blended, scraping down side of bowl. Add scalded milk mixture to egg mixture, and mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and salt; place mixture back over low heat (or in a double boiler), and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until thick and creamy. Remove from heat, and cool completely. (You can prepare the recipe to this point up to 2 days in advance, and store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before cooking.)

5. Beat whites with cream of tartar in a separate bowl at medium speed for about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. (Do not overbeat; if the whites appear dry and granular, they are overbeaten).

6. Stir about one-quarter of egg whites into cooled egg mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining whites gently, using a rubber spatula, just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

7. Pour mixture gently into prepared ramekins or dessert cups to top of rims. To help soufflés rise properly, run your finger around rim of dish to wipe edges. Bake in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F (180°C), and continue to bake 4 minutes or until exterior is set and center is slightly loose when shaken and soufflé has risen above dish. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

How to Scald Milk
Heat milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan under low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat it, bringing it just below the boiling point without actually boiling it. As soon as you start seeing milk bubbles forming around the inside edges of the pot, it forms a skin on top (if you stir it, you won't see the skin), as well as some steam rising, remove it from the heat; it is now scalded. In general, cool the milk to room temperature before using; you don't want to melt or partially cook other ingredients. Remember to cool the scalded milk to around about 110°F - 115° F (43°C - 46°C), measured with an instant read thermometer, and then add it to the recipe.

Date: August 7, 2005