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Hot Lemon Curd Souffles

On the How To Cook television series I called these 'everlasting', and yes, it's true, because unlike traditional soufflés, they never collapse. They will shrink down when they come out of the oven, but they will still be light and soufflé-like 15 minutes later. The quick lemon curd rounds the whole thing off into my favourite lemon recipe to date.

 
 
 Hot Lemon Curd Souffles

  Serves 4

Ingredients
For the soufflés:
 3 large eggs
 2 oz (50 g) golden caster sugar and 1 level dessertspoon golden caster sugar
 grated zest and juice 1 medium lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
For the quick-method lemon curd:
 grated zest and juice 1 small lemon
 1 large egg
 1½ oz (40 g) golden caster sugar
 1 oz (25 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
 1 level teaspoon cornflour
To serve:
 a little sifted icing sugar
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C)
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Equipment
You will also need four ramekins with a base diameter of 2½ inches (6 cm), a top diameter of 3 inches (7.5 cm), 2 inches (5 cm) deep, lightly buttered, and a small, solid baking sheet.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One

Method

First of all make the lemon curd by lightly whisking the egg in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the rest of the lemon curd ingredients and place the saucepan over a medium heat. Now whisk continuously using a balloon whisk until the mixture thickens; this won't take long – about 3 minutes in all.

Next, lower the heat to its minimum setting and let the curd gently simmer for 1 further minute, continuing to whisk. After that, remove it from the heat and divide the curd between the bases of the ramekins. (This can all be done well in advance, but cover and leave at room temperature.)

When you're ready to make the soufflés, separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a medium-sized bowl and the whites into a spanking-clean larger one. Now, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the whites to the stiff-peak stage, which will take 4-5 minutes – start on a slow speed, gradually increasing to medium and then high. Then add the dessertspoon of caster sugar and whisk on a high speed for 30 seconds more. Next add the zest and lemon juice and the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of sugar to the yolks and mix them together briefly. Now take a tablespoon of the whites and fold them into the yolks to loosen the mixture, then fold the rest of the whites in using a light cutting and folding movement so as not to lose the precious air. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, piling it high like a pyramid, then run a finger round the inside rim of each one. Next place them on the baking sheet and put this in the oven on the centre shelf for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden. Then remove them and let them settle for about 5 minutes to allow the lemon curd to cool.

They will sink a little, but that's normal. Just before serving, place them on smaller plates and give them a light dusting of icing sugar.

 

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