Tonight's experiment: soufflés made with the same basic flavors as pumpkin pie, since we’re getting close to Thanksgiving. I've been futzing around with soufflés a bit lately, with varying degrees of success. The recipe I give below is as I baked this, and I thought it was a decent enough dessert, but if I were to make this again I'd probably mix in a few tablespoons of flour or corn starch to help cope with the moisture in the pumpkin, and add 1/4 c. of brown sugar to go along with the maple sugar, since it could have used a bit more sweetness. They also probably could have stood another few minutes in the oven, again to drive out a bit more moisture.
The window of opportunity for photographing these is vanishingly small. Because the base is so moist, they don't rise to great heights to begin with, and in the 2 or 3 minutes it took me to get them out of the oven, framed, and shot, they had already lost about a 3/4" of height.
There were just shot in the light from my range hood, with my camera pre-positioned on a tripod. I did some tonemapping in Photomatix to help cope with the overly-heavy shadows that resulted.
(Edit 11/27/2011 - thanks for including this shot in the November 24th Flickr blog entry! I was wondering where all these hits came from…)
1 16 oz. can pumpkin purée
1 whole egg
4 egg whites
1/2 c. light cream
1/4 c. maple sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
heavy pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbl. butter
2 tbl. granulated sugar
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack on the lower middle position.
Butter the bottom and sides of 4 10 oz. ramekins, and swirl in the granulated sugar to coat. Discard any sugar that does not stick to the butter.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, maple sugar, whole egg, cream, spices, and salt and whisk together. (If modifying the recipe as I discuss above, add the flour/corn starch and brown sugar as well.) In a separate, clean bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Add 1/3rd of the beaten egg whites to the pumpkin base and stir to combine. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, 1/3rd at a time, just until no streaks remain.
Divide the batter between the 4 ramekins. Smooth the tops, and run your finger around the outside lip of each ramekin.
Put the 4 ramekins on a baking sheet and put in the preheated oven. Bake 35 minutes. Do not open the oven to check on them!
Remove from the oven, dust with confectioners sugar, and serve immediately.