Apricot and Pistachio Soufflé

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From the Essential Pépin tv series, Episode 109: Classic Conclusions

Made from a puree of dried apricots, egg whites, and crushed pistachios, this intensely flavored soufflé is sweetened by the corn syrup in the puree, which also helps the soufflé hold together during cooking and prevents it from cracking.

The soufflé mixture can be made a couple of hours ahead and placed in the mold. Although the soufflé is served hot here, it can be cooled, unmolded, sliced into wedges, and served with a sauce. —Jacques Pépin

Serves 6

8 ounces dried apricots
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup pistachios, skinned and crushed


1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Mix the dried apricots with 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Most of the moisture should be gone. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 6-cup soufflé dish with the butter and sprinkle the granulated sugar to cover the entire surface.

Drain the apricots in a sieve and discard the liquid.

Put the apricots in a food processor with the corn syrup and process until pureed. Transfer to a large bowl.

Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Using a whisk, mix approximately one third of the beaten whites into the apricot mixture. Then add the rest of the beaten egg whites, with 1/3 cup of the crushed pistachios, and fold in gently and quickly with a rubber spatula; this should not take more than 20 to 25 seconds. Reserve the extra pistachios for use as a garnish.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Smooth the top with a spatula and then, holding the spatula on edge, press it gently into the top of the soufflé to form lines and create a crisscross pattern. Run your finger all around the mold to clean the edges and recess it slightly.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The soufflé should be well set in the center and nicely browned.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: Combine the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whip just until it holds a shape. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the cream onto each individual plate, spread it out on the plate, and sprinkle with some of the reserved pistachios. Dust the soufflé with confectioners’ sugar as soon as it emerges from the oven, and spoon onto the plates. Serve immediately.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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