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Apricot Souffles with Vanilla Rum Crème Anglaise

  (Serves 8)

This recipe appeared in the March 1996 Gourmet and came to us via It is based on the apricot soufflés served by Sally Darr at her former New York City restaurant, La Tulipe. We’ve changed it just a bit to make it a fantastic match with Stony Hill’s Semillon de Soleil.


Soufflé Ingredients:
Serves 8 in 4 oz. ramekins or six in 7-oz ramekins

6 ounces dried apricots
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large egg whites (save yolks for crème anglaise)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Crème Anglaise Ingredients:

2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum, or to taste


To make the Apricot Soufflés:  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Generously butter the ramekins.
In a heavy saucepan simmer apricots, water, and 1/2 cup sugar, covered, 20 minutes.  Transfer hot mixture to a food processor and puree until very smooth.  Force puree through a fine sieve into a bowl and stir in lemon juice, vanilla, a pinch salt.  Cool puree completely.  Puree may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.  Bring to room temperature before proceeding.  Transfer puree to a large bowl. 

In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with pinch of salt until foamy.  Beat in cream of tartar and beat whites until they hold soft peaks.  Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat meringue until it just holds stiff peaks.  Whisk about one forth meringue into puree to lighten and fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly.  Ladle batter into ramekins and bake soufflés on a baking sheet in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and just set in the center.

Remove ramekins from oven.  With 2 forks pull open center of each soufflé and pour some crème anglaise into each opening.  Serve soufflés immediately.

To Make Vanilla Rum Crème Anglaise:
In a small saucepan bring half and half just to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla.
In a bowl whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt and whisk in hot half and half in a slow stream.  Return custard to pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened (170 *F on a candy thermometer), but do not let boil. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally.  Stir in rum.  Chill sauce, covered, until very cold, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.  Makes about 2-1/4 cups.