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Pumpkin Soufflé – a show stopping dessert that is easier than you may think.
Not your typical pumpkin dessert, there’s no cinnamon or brown sugar. The pumpkin flavor here is accented with a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg and kirsch. Kirsch, or kirschwasser, is distilled from cherries and their stones. It sets off the pumpkin flavor with a cherry taste with a hint of almond.
Serve it with crème anglaise for a decadent finish. Start the crème anglaise as soon as you put the soufflé in the oven – it takes about 10-15 minutes to make. Pour it into a small pitcher and it will be ready when you take the pumpkin soufflé out of the oven.
Pumpkin Soufflé Recipe
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 egg yolks
2 ounces kirsch
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 egg whites
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Butter a 4 cup soufflé dish with the softened butter, then coat with sugar; shaking out excess.
In a medium saucepan whisk together the flour and sugar.
Slowly whisk in the half and half to make a smooth mixture.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens.
Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the pumpkin puree.
Place pumpkin mixture into a bowl and add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Stir in the kirsch and the nutmeg.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt to form stiff peaks.
Fold a third of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture.
Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and pour into the prepared soufflé dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, the soufflé should jiggle a bit.
Serve the pumpkin soufflé immediately.
Make an opening in the center of the soufflé and pour in some of the crème anglaise.
Serve additional crème anglaise on the side if desired.
Crème Anglaise Recipe
1 cup half and half
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half to a simmer and remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until blended.
Slowly whisk in some of the heated half and half to the yolks to warm and temper them.
Whisk the yolk mixture into the remaining half and half in the saucepan.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat.
Continue stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and an instant read thermometer reads 180ºF. About 7-10 minutes. Do not allow to come to a boil.
Strain the crème anglaise through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or small pitcher.
Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold.
Yields 1 1/4 cups.
Soufflé and Crème Anglaise Tips
Kirsch is my favorite eau de vie to use in this soufflé, it pairs beautifully with the pumpkin. You can also use other flavors. Poire Williams is especially good in this, lending a subtle pear flavor. Raspberry eau de vie is also good and brightens the flavor.
The best way to open the souffle is with two spoons or forks. Push them into the center of the souffle and pull an opening apart. This helps keep the souffle from deflating too quickly. Pour the crème anglaise into the opening.
You can of course serve the souffle directly onto smaller plates and pour the crème anglaise over each portion.
Instead of crème anglaise whipped cream is also a great accompaniment.
Many recipes will tell you the crème anglaise is done at 170º-175º. Everytime I make this the sauce doesn’t begin to thicken until the thermometer hits 180º. And it needs to stay at that temperature for a minute or so to thicken. Be patient and use low heat and keep stirring – it will thicken.
For another wonderful holiday dessert, try our Gingerbread Cake.
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This 32 ounce ramekin by Harold Imports is the dish I use to make this soufflé. It’s the perfect size and shape to get your soufflé to rise beautifully.
Quickly whip egg whites to stiff peaks with Kitchenaid’s 6 quart professional stand mixer. The included balloon whisk attachment makes quick work of egg whites. This is a powerful workhorse in a well equipped kitchen.
I love this thermometer and use it constantly in the kitchen. Check the temp of your crème anglaise while it’s cooking. The handy magnets on the back of this thermometer keeps it on the fridge and in easy reach.
This is what I use to grate the whole nutmeg. It makes such a difference compared to using dried nutmeg from a jar. Freshly grated is so much more flavorful.