Dried Apricot Souffles 8.000

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Feb 12, 2014

In a little more than an hour, at modest expense, you can overcome fears of souffle failure and share the superfood benefits of dried fruit with your family and friends. These individual portions are in many ways easier to make than a single multi-serving souffle, and they take much less time to bake.

The underwhelming look of dark, wrinkly dried apricots that are unsulphured does not matter here, because the fruit is rehydrated and pureed before you add it to the egg white mixture.

You'll need eight 3/4-cup ramekins for this recipe. To ensure success, read CulinAerie chef and co-owner Susan Holt's TIPS below.

Serve on their own, or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Make Ahead: The souffles can be assembled 30 minutes before baking and held at room temperature.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 8 ounces dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, preferably organic
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the ramekins
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekins (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)


Place the dried apricots in a medium saucepan and cover with cool water. Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use softened butter to grease the bottom, sides and rimmed edges of each ramekin, then coat each generously with granulated sugar (see TIPS below). Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Drain the apricots; transfer them to a food processor, discarding the cooking water. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a wide mixing bowl; the yield is about 1 cup. Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and all of the lemon zest and juice, stirring to incorporate.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer fitted with a balloon-whisk attachment; beat on high speed until the whites form soft peaks. Reduce the speed to medium-high; gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, beating until the egg whites are creamy white, a bit shiny and firm. (When you detach the balloon whisk and invert it, the egg white mixture may droop into a curve but should not fall off. Be careful not to overbeat.)

Stir half of the beaten egg whites into the apricot mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remainder, being careful not to deflate the beaten whites. Use a ladle to evenly divide the souffle mixture among the ramekins, taking care not to get any of the mixture on the sides. Mounding is okay. Bake until golden brown on top and nicely risen, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer to individual small plates; dust each souffle lightly with confectioners' sugar, if using. Serve right away.

TIPS: Eliminate any small globs of butter when you are prepping the souffle dishes; otherwise, the moisture in the butter might adversely affect the rise and/or texture of the souffle.

When lining the buttered ramekins, fill each one with sugar to slightly overflowing to make sure it's well coated. Do this over a wide bowl of sugar; you can reuse the sugar for subsequent coatings, adding more as needed.

Do not separate egg whites from yolks by straining them through your fingers; your hands might introduce oils that will keep the egg whites from beating to the right consistency. Also make sure not to get any broken egg yolk in the egg whites.

Whisk/beat egg whites in a deep, narrow bowl; fold souffle ingredients in a wide, relatively shallow bowl.

Use tongs to transfer each baked souffle (in its ramekin) to a plate topped with a paper or cloth napkin "coaster." The landing pad will keep the ramekin from moving around as a guest digs in, which will, in turn, keep the guest from attempting to grab a very hot ramekin.

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Recipe Source

From Susan Holt, chef and co-owner of CulinAerie in the District.

Tested by Dean Felten.

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