Well…I caved in. I made something pumpkin. Really, I tried as hard as I could to not make something so traditional, so common, so Starbucks-y. But really…look at this gorgeous pumpkin souffle. It can’t be dismissed.
I had other ideas intended, such as a savory pumpkin souffle or something with sweet potato and fresh herbs (that sounds lovely, yes?) But because I don’t drink the very popular spiced pumpkin latte or conform to trends, I haven’t gone with the crowd and enjoyed my share of pumpkin flavored anything yet. Oh my, the horror.
I remember it was the end of August when all the pumpkin rivalry hit the air-fan. I get as food bloggers, we need to be ahead of the game. Have seasons and holidays cooked and prepped months in advance to get readers attention and be ready for the crowds. But I just couldn’t bare to think of pumpkin in August! And yes, I do make warm cobblers in the summer and drink ice cold sangria in the winter. Because I’m bad-ass like that (or maybe just in my own head).
You will laugh if I tell you what goes on in the kitchen when a souffle happens. I tell Joe to not step in the kitchen until I yell for him. Which is when the oven timer goes off and I need his help lifting the tray out. I have 2 photo stations set by my 2 windows and have already taken 50+ test shots just to make sure I get the right angel. As soon as the souffle exits the oven, I, with my camera in hand dart between the 2 photo areas as fast as I can, shooting photos with lightning speed. Joe helps me adjust and move the dishes around and bares all the sugar that is being dusted all over the kitchen floor. Then finally, after 400 photos or so (No, I’m just kidding…kinda), we enjoy the most delicious deflated souffle.
Pardon all the souffle pics, because I just couldn’t resist. This pumpkin souffle has gorgeous pumpkin pie spice with additional twists. A (healthy) splash of grand marnier is added with freshly zested orange peel and a touch of cardamom. Picture the lightest, airiest pumpkin pie you have ever had. And then go make another.
Please visit both my Cheese Souffle and/or Lemon Souffle for step by step photos. It is the same base and as long as you get those egg whites stiff and glossy, you’re golden.
Yields 8 servings
Recipe adapted from Epicurious with a few changes and additions
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 Tb cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tb brown sugar
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15oz. can)
- 1 Tb Grand Marnier (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tb grated orange zest
- 2 Tb sugar (for dusting souffle molds)
- 8 egg whites
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- In a medium pot, stir together the milk, cornstarch, spices and brown sugar and bring to a simmer until boiling. Whisk while boiling for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add pumpkin puree, Grand Marnier, vanilla and orange zest. Mix together and allow to cool to room temperature. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Next, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and set oven rack to lower half of oven. Prep ramekins by greasing the insides with butter and dusting all over with sugar.
- Next, in a clean, dry mixing bowl, add egg whites and begin to beat with a whisk attachment on low speed. You will see that the egg whites will “break up” and begin to have a foamy consistency. Once foamy, add cream of tartar and continue beating, gradually increasing the speed until soft peaks form. This can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
- Once soft peaks form, slowly add in 3/4 sugar while mixing on medium-high speed. Once sugar is added, continue to beat until you can hold your egg whites with a whisk and it stays stiff.
- Fold a few dollops full of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture to help lighten. Then fold in remaining pumpkin into the wgg whites, Don't over mix and continue folding in until everything is mixed together.
- Carefully pour mixture into prepared molds to just about the brim. Level off with a spatula so tops are even and gently tap down to even mixture out.
- Place souffles on a large baking sheet and bake exactly 20 minutes or until souffle puff up and are golden brown.
- When done, remove from oven and dist with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Recipe makes 1 6-cup souffle + 3 individual souffles.
Pumpkin mixture can be made ahead of time and stored.
Please refer to my cheese souffle for step by step instructions.