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It’s Meyer Lemon Season Again

Check out a great seasonal recipe for Meyer Lemon Soufflé courtesy of Piatti restaurants.


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It’s Meyer lemon season—the time of year when the smooth, yellow-orange fruit suspended among glossy green leaves and purple-tinged blossoms finds its way from your backyard, to your kitchen table, to your local farmers market, to your pot de crème at that restaurant downtown. Meyer lemons may be a staple in California Cuisine today, but this sweet, fragrant fruit has only been around here for 50 years. Tom Hudgens’ Diablo magazine article (Click here to read)  explains how Meyer lemons first came to California and how they gained popularity among celebrated chefs and amateur cooks alike. Below, Chris Fernandez, VP of Culinary Operations for Piatti restaurants, shares a Meyer lemon recipe that will bring restaurant-quality fare into your own home.

Meyer Lemon Soufflé with Cointreau Crème Anglaise

What you'll need:

For the Soufflé:
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large whole eggs, separated, plus 2 additional large egg whites
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar plus additional for sprinkling
1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 1⁄2 oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Special equipment: a 4-5-inch soufflé dish or large ceramic ramekin and a strip of parchment paper to make a paper collar around the dish

For the Cointreau Crème Anglaise:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
4 large egg yolks
2-3 tablespoons Cointreau, depending on taste preferred

How to prepare the Soufflé:

1. Bring milk just to a simmer in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat.

2. Beat together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, 3 to 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add cornstarch, mixing until incorporated. Add hot milk in a slow stream, mixing until smooth.

3. Transfer the custard to same saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. (Mixture will be thick.) Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl, then whisk in zest and juice. Cover surface with round of parchment or wax paper and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. This step can be made a day in advance.

4. Preheat oven to 375°F.

5. Butter the Soufflé dish, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar, turning to coat all sides and knocking out excess.

6. Beat the 4 egg whites with salt in another large bowl using cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and increase speed to high, then beat until egg whites just hold stiff peaks.

7. Stir one fourth of whites into lemon custard to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared soufflé dish, then wrap paper strip tightly around outside of soufflé dish, forming a collar that extends at least 4 inches above rim. Tape overlapping ends together.

8. Bake soufflé until puffed and golden in spots, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove collar and serve soufflé immediately. Serve with warm Cointreau Crème Anglaise.

How to prepare the Cointreau Crème Anglaise:

1. Add milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla bean into heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring mixture to boil.

2. Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Gradually temper in the hot milk mixture.

3. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes (do not boil).

4. Stir in the Cointreau and then cover and chill until cold, about 3 hours.

5. Strain into medium pitcher. (Can be made a day ahead. Cover and
refrigerate.)

Suggested Pairing:

Culinary Director Chris Fernandez recommends pairing the Soufflé with a late harvest Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc such as the Hogue Riesling Late Harvest 2007 or Greenwod Ridge Riesling Late Harvest (half-bottle). Both available at most local BevMo stores.