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Tangerine Soufflés

Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit, March 1998

What's the secret to a good soufflé? Beating the egg whites with the sugar until they are stiff and still very shiny, then folding them into the flavor base carefully in two or three additions so that the whites do not deflate. This dessert has an intense tangerine flavor, which comes from using the entire fruit, except for its seeds, of course. Any leftover tangerine syrup can be added to sparkling wine to make a mimosa with a twist.

Yield: Ten 2/3 cup servings

  • 10  2/3 cup soufflé dishes (or custard cups)
  • butter and sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound peel-on tangerines, quartered and seeded
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Butter the soufflé molds; dust with sugar and arrange on baking sheet.

Bring orange juice, 1 cup sugar and tangerines to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tangerines are very tender, about 35 minutes. Strain mixture through sieve set over medium bowl, pressing firmly on fruit. Transfer fruit to food processor; puree until tangerine peel is finely chopped (or chop fine by hand). Return puree to saucepan; mix in 1/2 cup strained syrup, reserving remaining syrup for another use. Puree can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400°F. If you have a convection oven, you do NOT want to use that setting. Stir tangerine puree over low heat until barely warm if it’s been refrigerated; set aside.

Beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, adding it gradually, until egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Gently stir 1/4 of whites into warm tangerine puree in saucepan. Then gently fold tangerine mixture into remaining whites in bowl. Divide mixture among prepared dishes. Bake until puffed and brown, about 15 minutes.

While soufflés are baking, or earlier if desired (it can hold in the refrigerator for an hour or two), beat cream, orange liqueur and 1 tablespoon sugar in large bowl until stiff peaks form; refrigerate if making in advance.

As soon as the soufflés come from the oven, serve them, with a scoop of the whipped cream to add as each diner breaks open their soufflé.

Note: If you want to make larger soufflés, use eight 1-cup dishes. Increase the cooking time by 1-2 minutes.

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