This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group.Last week we celebrated the annual Bastille Day in Piermont. It was a great event and well attended. One of the fun things for me, in addition to sharing our street offerings which included a raw oyster bar and lots of Sauisson de Lyon and Brie cheeses with baguette, was that we offered a purely French menu of bistro classics at my restaurants.
Guests dined on everything from Coquille St Jacques to Steak Pommes Frites, Duck a l'Orange and Filet de Rae Grenobloise. The pièce de résistance, however, was our hot Grand Mariner Soufflé served with Crème Anglaise.
The dessert soufflé is one of those dishes that bring back so many great memories for me. I crack into the puffed, brown crown of the soufflé that has risen four inches out of its dish and I think back to climbing the steps of Notre Dame with my wife, Rica, and looking out onto Paris from far above.
I suddenly remember, as I take the first warm spoonful of this lighter than air confection, my son, Dylan, climbing the wine barrels of Olivier Leflaive in Puligny Montrachet when he was only 6-years-old.
Yes, a simple soufflé made well can be transportive. Which is why I'm offering a recipe that I hope will bring a little bit of France to your home.
Soufflé au Grand Marnier served with Crème Anglaise
Recipe for the Soufflé Base or Pastry Cream
- 6 yolks
- ½ cups sugar
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup flour
- ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixing bowl and whip to double volume and pale in color.
- Add flour slowly to egg yolk mixture and blend well.
- Bring milk to a boil, and then add to egg mixture until combined. Return to the pot and cook.
- Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until smooth and thick. Place in a metal bowl to cool.
- Stir soufflé base often to keep it from drying on top. Cover with plastic wrap when cool. The soufflé base can be prepared up to two days ahead.
Recipe for the Grand Marnier Soufflé
- 4 oz. pastry cream (see above instructions)
- 2 tbsp. grated orange peel
- 2 tbsp. orange juice
- 4 oz. egg whites
- 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier
- 4 tbsp. butter (soften)
- 2 x 6 oz. soufflé cups
- Granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375* F.
- Butter and sugar soufflé cups. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together pastry cream, orange peel, orange juice, and Grand Marnier.
- Whip egg whites to form stiff peaks. Fold half of the beaten egg whites into the soufflé base and mix thoroughly.
- Gently fold the remaining egg whites. Do not over mix.
- Fill each cup three-quarters full. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until brown.
- Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top of each soufflé and serve with crème anglaise on the side.