Prickly Pear Soufflé
Soufflés are one of those magical desserts that are sure to draw raves, not difficult to make, and require very little advance planning. The succulent taste and vivid pink color of prickly pears enhance this soufflé, and the cornstarch is a trick to make it more stable and less prone to deflate.
- Prickly Pear Puree
- Ripe Prickly Pears - 11
- Unsweetened Coconut Milk - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 1/4 cup, melted in 1/4 cup boiling water
- Tequila - 1 ounce
- Milk - 1-1/2 cups
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Unbleached All-purpose flour - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 9, separated, at room temperature
- Tequila - 1 ounce
- Prickly Pear Puree - 1/4 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Prickly pear slices
- Remaining prickly pear puree
To make the puree: Peel all the prickly pears and coarsely chop six of them. Place the chopped fruit in a blender or food processor along with the coconut milk, sugar syrup, and tequila. Puree the mixture. Slice the remaining prickly pears, place the slices flat in a pan, and pour the puree over them. Allow to stand 1 hour before continuing.
Prepare a 2-quart soufflé dish. Chill the dish well, butter it heavily, coat the inside with sugar, and return the dish to the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
To make the soufflé: Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan and bring it to a boil with the butter and 1 cup of the sugar, stirring constantly. When it comes to a brisk boil, add the flour all at once and whisk to remove any lumps. Reduce the heat to low and whisk until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer the mixture to another bowl and allow it to cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks into the cooked mixture a few at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the tequila and 1/4 cup of the prickly pear puree, beat well, and set aside.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then slowly ad the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Sift the cornstarch over the egg whites and beat briefly to incorporate.
Beat one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, then quickly fold the remaining whites in. Pour half the batter into the prepared mold, then layer with some of the sliced prickly pears. Top with the remaining batter and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, turning the heat down to 350 F after 30 minutes. The soufflé will be brown and puffy.
To serve: Bring the soufflé and the dish of prickly pears to the table. Serve a large scoop of soufflé with fruit and a little sauce on each dessert plate