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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lowfat Apricot Souffle

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Souffles are scary, I have said that before, but that is just a misconception. Susan Purdy has a foolproof method that really works and she has worked this recipe out so each souffle gets only one percent of its calories from fat. This recipe makes 6 servings, which are 158 calories each, which is NOT nothing, but for something so scrumptious it’s do-able on occasion.

8 ounces dried apricots (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Non-stick cooking spray
6 large egg whites room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch salt
Confectioner’s sugar

Start by preparing the apricot base. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the apricots and water. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes till fruit is soft. Transfer mixture into food processor and puree till smooth. You should have about 1 1/4 cups. Now return puree to sauce pan. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and orange juice. Add to apricot mixture along with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Cook over medium heat till it comes to a boil for about 45 seconds, whisking constantly till it no longer looks cloudy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool. This part can actually be done ahead of time and refrigerated. If so, bring back to room temperature before proceeding.

For the souffle, position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350. Coat the souffle molds (either one 1 1/2 quart (6 cup) mold or six 1 1/2 cup molds) with spray pan coating and then sprinkle with sugar and tap out excess.

In the large bowl of your mixer, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Whip until foamy and then sprinkle in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip till soft droopy peaks form. Now fold 2 cups of egg whites into your room temperature apricot base. Then fold in remaining whites. Folding is a slow gentle motion. There are no prizes for speed and you don’t need to rush — the egg whites will stay whipped for quite some time. Gently put the batter into prepared dishes and smooth the top. Place the molds into a Bain Marie, which is a large pan full of hot water. It's best to place the Bain Marie pan in the oven first, then the souffle molds, then add enough boiling water to the Bian Marie pan to reach a third of the way up the sides of your souffle mold(s). Bake till well risen and quite brown on top. An internal read thermometer will read 150, figure about 35 minutes for one large souffle and 25 for individuals. Serve right from the oven with a light dusting of Confectioner's sugar. These are nice served with a light fruit sauce like a cassis sauce. By the way, these are cholesterol free, how’s that for justification?