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Apricot and Vanilla Bean Souffles with Creme Anglaise

Courtesy of Chef and Blogger, David Lebovitz: www.davidlebovitz.com

Four individual soufflés

These soufflés really highlight the intensity of dried apricots, which are thankfully available all-year. Be sure the serve them with crème anglaise, which compliments the tangy apricots perfectly.

Apricot and Vanilla Bean Souffles with Creme Anglaise
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For the Crème anglaise
  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1/2 Rain's Choice vanilla bean, split
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 3 large egg yolks
Instructions
  1. For the crème anglaise, heat the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk. Once warm, remove from heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare an ice bath by setting a metal bowl in another bowl that has been partially filled with ice.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warmed milk, whisking constantly. Stir the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low to moderate heat, stirring constantly with a heat proof spatula until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula. Immediately strain the custard into the bowl set over ice, removing the vanilla bean. Stir until cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Crème anglaise will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days).
  5. For the soufflés, heat the apricots in a small saucepan with the wine, and vanilla bean until the liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover the pan, and let stand 45 minutes until the apricots are tender.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter 4 ramekins or oven proof custard cups.
  7. Remove the vanilla bean, then puree the cooked apricots (and any liquid remaining), the egg yolk and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a food processor. Transfer into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. In a clean metal bowl, begin whipping the egg whites until they form soft, drooping peaks.
  9. Gradually whip in the 3 tablespoons of sugar and continue whipping until the meringue forms stiff, but wet peaks. Beat one-quarter of the meringue into the apricot puree, then gently fold in the remaining meringue.
  10. Heap the soufflé mixture into the ramekins. Sprinkle the tops with additional granulated sugar. Set the soufflés on a baking sheet and bake in the upper part of the oven for 9 minutes until the tops are brown. Serve immediately, with a pitcher of cold crème anglaise.
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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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