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A light, airy dessert made perfect for sharing with family and friends.
- 1-1/4 cups half-and-half, light cream or whole milk
- 1 4- to 6-inch vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Quick Vanilla Custard Sauce (recipe below)
- Fresh mint sprigs (optional to garnish)
- Grease the sides of a 2-quart souffle dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar. To make a collar for the souffle dish, measure enough foil to wrap around the top of the souffle dish and add 3 inches. Fold the foil in thirds lengthwise. Lightly butter 1 side of the foil and sprinkle with sugar. Attach the foil, sugar side in, around the outside of the dish so the foil extends 2 inches above the dish. Tape or pin the ends of the foil together; set aside. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position.
- In a small saucepan, heat half-and-half and vanilla bean (if using) until bubbles form at the edge of the saucepan. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean; let cool for 5 minutes. Using a paring knife, make a slit vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Stir seeds (or the 1 tablespoon vanilla, if using) into half-in-half.
- In another small saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Stir in the flour. Add half-and-half mixture. Whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat (mixture will be thick). Slowly whisk the mixture into the beaten yolks; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and the 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
- Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Spoon mixture into the prepared souffle dish. Place souffle dish in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve at once with Quick Vanilla Custard Sauce. If you like, garnish each serving with a fresh mint sprig. Makes 6 servings.
- Quick Vanilla Custard Sauce:
- Allow 1-1/2 cups good-quality vanilla bean ice cream to soften, covered, in the refrigerator about 3 hours to become of pourable consistency. When ready to serve over hot souffles, stir in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Makes about 1 cup.