This Southern standard is not quite spongecake, not quite pudding. Don't worry if it looks curdled when you add the beaten egg whites. The souffles can be served warm or at room temperature.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2 oranges, preferably blood oranges
- Sugar (optional)
Place oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using butter or nonstick spray oil, lightly grease eight to ten 8-ounce ramekins and place them in a large baking pan. Set a kettle of water on the stove to boil.
In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, lemon juice and zest, milk and melted butter and whisk until smooth. Beat in egg yolks one at a time and whisk until mixture is thick and pale yellow.
In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whites into the lemon mixture. Ladle the mixture into the prepared ramekins until each is three-quarters full. Place the pan on the middle rack in the oven and carefully pour the boiled water into the baking pan until it comes 1/2 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until souffles are lightly browned and the pudding jiggles slightly, about 40 minutes.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven and lift the puddings onto a rack to cool, then cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat oven to 325 degrees then turn oven off. Place puddings in the warm oven for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut off tops and bottoms of the oranges. Remove all peel and pith. Separate the segments from the membrane and put the segments in a small bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice on top and add sugar to taste. Orange segments and juice can be spooned onto or served alongside the warmed puddings.
Adapted from chef and former restaurateur David Hagedorn.
Tested by Hal Mehlman.
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