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When Live Gives You Lemons... Make a Lemon Creme Souffle

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**The following script and recipe is from the bestselling cookbook: Edwardian Cooking - 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals. The book is available at all bookstores worldwide and from on-line retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, etc.**

As anyone who has a yearning for British cuisine will attest to, the Brtis do indeed love lemons and their famed lemon curd. During the Edwardian era, lemons, as well as all citrus fruit, were rather expensive and the dishes featuring these fruits were not very common -- and almost unheard of in the dining rooms of the "common" people. This dessert souffle was usually reserved for special occasions at the abbeys. Though it is quite simple to prepare, it does take a few steps.

This dessert exemplifies the brilliance of the abbey cooks. What the cooks did was take a basic lemon curd and give it body in the form of egg whites. Of course, when using egg whites in this way, you get more air into the curd and when air gets hot, it raises what it is mixed with. So, there are other types of lemon souffle, but probably none as creamy as the ones prepared at the abbeys!

You will need individual souffle bowls for this deish. They are readily available and inexpensive at all kitchenware stores. Also rather unusual here is the abbey cooks would brush the souffle bowls with butter before adding the mixture. In most souffles, you really don't want to do this as you want the egg whites to cling to the bowl while they are rising. Our research shows no reason why the cooks did this. Perhaps it was just to add a richness to the dessert.

Ingredients needed to make Lemon Creme Souffle (makes 4):

  • 3 Tbs. butter (plus a little extra to brush the bowls)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/4 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 lemons, juice and finely grated zest
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brush the sides and bottom of the souffle bowls with a little butter. Set the bowls aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan stir the butter, milk, and cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thickened.
  5. Whisk the flour and cornstarch into the egg mixture until smooth.
  6. Slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the eggs until well incorporated. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir 5 minutes or until it thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
  7. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  8. Stir the lemon juice and zest into the cream mixture.
  9. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the cream mixture until combined. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
  10. Spoon the mixture into the prepared souffle bowls.
  11. Place the souffles onto a baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake 15 minutes (do not open the oven door during this time).
  12. Remove from the oven, dust with some powdered sugar, and serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook" is now available worldwide and features 80 dishes from the era of the most acclaimed television show in the history of PBS, Downton Abbey.

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