Carrot Pudding Souffles with Buttered Spring Vegetables
Thanks to a puddinglike batter, this stunning carrot-souffle appetizer won't deflate. A supporting cast -- sauteed baby carrots and sugar snap peas with their shoots -- reflects the season's vibrant colors and welcome flavors.
- Servings: 8
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2007
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 pounds medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 bay leaf
- Coarse salt
- 1 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed for reheating souffles
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Freshly ground pepper
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites
- 16 baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 32 sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed, plus pea shoots for garnish
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, chopped carrots, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (Reduce heat to medium-low after 15 minutes if needed to prevent carrots or butter from browning.)
Stir in cream. Bring mixture just to a simmer, and immediately remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree mixture (use caution when pureeing hot liquids in a food processor). Transfer carrot puree to a small bowl; set aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in milk gradually. Use a rubber spatula to scrape bottom and corners of pan.
Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often to prevent lumps from forming, 15 minutes. Whisk in carrot puree, and remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter eight 6-ounce ramekins; set aside.
Add yolks, one at a time, to carrot mixture, whisking well after each addition.
Using a clean whisk or an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into carrot mixture.
Ladle mixture into prepared ramekins, filling almost to the rims. Place ramekins in a roasting pan, and transfer to oven. Pour enough boiling water into pan to come about three-quarters of the way up sides of ramekins. Bake until souffles are puffed and set, and tops begin to brown, about 35 minutes. Using tongs, carefully transfer the souffles to a wire rack, and let cool 10 minutes.
Before serving, bring a medium pot of water to a boil; add 2 teaspoons salt. Add carrots; cook 2 minutes. Add peas; cook until carrots are tender and peas are bright green, about 2 minutes more.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Drain vegetables; toss with the melted butter.
Invert each souffle onto a metal spatula, and then invert again onto a serving plate. Arrange carrots and peas on each plate. Garnish with pea shoots.