Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.
Dried apricots are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They also pack a punch with potassium and are especially good for their fiber content. Whole Foods rates apricots as "excellent" on the World's Healthiest Foods Rating Scale. So when I found a recipe for apricot soufflé, I was thrilled.
I've always loved apricots but especially sulfur-free dried apricots. Unlike some other dried fruits, they have a taste between sweet and tart. When drying some fruits, they tend to become "too sweet," whereas dried apricots have just the right amount of sweetness.
I recently discovered a great Kosher cookbook called Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine. Mind you, I'm not Jewish, but I've lately been intrigued by the fact that there are so many kosher recipes that are not only nutritious but delicious.
Healthier also takes on a different meaning when you are speaking of kosher foods because of the additional regulations that are put into place for these foods. Something being kosher doesn't mean that the food is blessed, contrary to popular opinion. It just means that foods that are kosher have certain preparation rules applied to them—from harvest to the table.
I tried this recipe a couple of different ways as noted below. Even made according to the recipe, it is a perfect light end to any meal.
Most soufflés border on the delicate side. Be careful to handle with care and they are best served hot from the oven.
This recipe also has a do-ahead step that shortens the preparation time. If you cook and blend the apricot mixture up to a day ahead, it takes only minutes to beat the egg whites and prepare the soufflé, pop it into the oven and voila—dessert in 15 minutes.
Read More From Delishably
Watch the above video or check out the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to make this simple yet elegant, tasty dessert.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
8 individual apricot soufflés or 1 large soufflé
Additional Time: Apricot puree needs to refrigerate for 1 hour but can be made the day ahead and stored in the fridge until assembly time.
- 1/4 pound dried apricots, unsulfured
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 4 tablespoons sugar, or healthier substitute
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Unsalted butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or healthier substitute
- 3 large egg whites, or 3/4 cup egg white product
- 1 tablespoon sugar, or healthier substitute
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Grand Marnier or other liqueur, optional
- Almond or other nut extract, optional
- Powdered sugar, optional
- Walnut oil, or other nut oil, optional
- Place apricots and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Apricots should be softened. Cool a bit. Do not pour off water.
- Puree the apricot and water mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. NOTE: At this point, you can reduce the water portion by 1–2 teaspoons and add in Grand Marnier or extract in equal amount. If reducing water by 2 teaspoons, add 2 teaspoons of liqueur or extract.
- Pour mixture into a container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. NOTE: At this point, the recipe can be done to this point a day ahead of time and left in the fridge until ready to assemble. Warm the apricot mixture to room temperature before proceeding.
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Use butter or margarine (or walnut or other nut oil) to generously grease 8 1/2-cup ramekins. Place prepped ramekins in a 9 x 13 pan. Set aside. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Place room temperature* (see note below) egg whites in bowl of food processor or mixing bowl. Use the balloon whisk attachment and beat the egg whites until foamy. (Or use hand mixer to beat the egg whites until foamy).
- Add gradually 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Continue beating the egg whites until very stiff and shiny peaks have formed.
- Place apricot mixture in a large to medium bowl. Carefully, using a rubber spatula, fold about half of the egg white mixture into the apricot mixture. Do not overmix.
- Reverse the procedure. Take the apricot and egg white mixture and add back into the other half of the beaten egg white mixture. Stir in a figure-of-8 pattern, turning the bowl to blend but do not overmix. This is the most important step as too much mixing won't help the souffle rise properly. Some egg whites will still be showing.
- Spoon very gently into the 8 ramekins evenly. Pour enough boiling water into the 9 x 13 pan to come up about 1/3 of the sides of the ramekins. Bake in a 375˚F oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
- They will keep in a turned off oven for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
- This recipe may also be baked in a 1-quart souffle dish. Bake for 22 minutes and leave in turned off oven for 10 minutes if desired.
Step-by-Step Photo Guide
This guide matches the pictures above!
- Generously butter 8 individual ramekins or 1 regular soufflé dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar (one at a time), swirl to coat, tap out leftover sugar into next ramekin. Place ramekins or soufflé dish in 9 x 13 pan. Set aside.
- Place apricots and water in small pan. Bring to a boil, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. Apricots will be soft. Set aside with liquid to cool.
- Place apricots and water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 4 tablespoons sugar in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. NOTE: If you want to add extract or liqueur, remove 1 or 2 teaspoons of water and add equal amount of extract, etc. back in.
- Refrigerate this mixture for at least 1 hour. NOTE: It can be kept at this point in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Remove from fridge and let come to room temperature. Proceed with recipe.
- Separate 3 eggs while cold. Use egg yolks for another recipe if desired. Pour egg whites into mixer bowl and let come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Beat room temperature egg whites with mixer until foamy. Use whisk attachment of food processor. Beat on high, gradually adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Beat until stiff and shiny peaks form.
- Fold half of the egg whites into the apricot puree in a medium-sized bowl. Mix gently and do not overmix. Turn on tea kettle for boiling water.
- Fold the apricot mixture into the rest of the egg whites in the mixing bowl. Gently combine with a figure-of-8 pattern. Do not overmix. Egg whites will still be showing.
- Carefully spoon into prepared dishes. Carefully pour boiling water into the 9 x 13 pan to come one-third of the way up the soufflé dish or ramekins. Carefully place on middle rack in oven.
- Bake ramekins for 15 minutes. Bake in 1-quart soufflé dish for 22 minutes. May sit in oven with the heat turned off for an additional 10 minutes if not ready to serve. Best served warm and right from the oven.
Tips on Egg Whites and Soufflés
Follow these tips and soufflé success will follow!
- Separate eggs right from the refrigerator as they separate easier.
- Do 1 egg at a time and add to a larger bowl to prevent having to redo 3 eggs instead of 1.
- Use egg whites for beating that are at room temperature rather than cold.
- Make sure your food processor and beaters are squeaky clean.
- Beat egg whites until foamy for best results.
- Then add sugar or add-ins gradually rather than all at once.
- Beat on high speed at this point to get stiff shiny peaks.
- When blending beaten egg whites, make sure to fold rather than mix or stir.
- Use a figure-of-8 pattern to blend the opposite way—mixture back into egg whites.
- Rubber spatulas are better to use than spoons.
- Drop or spoon gently into souffle dishes to leave as much air in the batter as possible.
- Bake until just done—do not overbake.
- They will rest for up to 10 minutes in an oven that is turned off without sinking.
- Dust lightly with powdered sugar—in the bottom of the dish or on top if desired.
- Serve immediately—they are at their peak when just from the oven.
© 2012 Audrey Kirchner