Every year, my friend Diane sends me from California several boxes of lemons from the two over-loaded trees in her garden. I am eternally grateful to her – and her husband who goes to the post-office with the heavy boxes – for thinking about me in such a caring fashion.
I love lemons: All year long, they are squeezed in hot water, in Thai food, in salad dressings, and all summer long in my tall glasses of cold water. They are an integral part of summer desserts, and the hotter the summer is – and this summer has certainly been very hot – the more lemon desserts I want to make.
I turn again toward my favorite lemon dessert book: “Luscious Lemon Desserts” by Lori Longbotham and discover a recipe I have not yet tried: “Chilled Lemon Soufflé.”
It is so light that you don’t need to save space in your stomach for this really luscious dessert, and so refreshing in the same time that one serving will make you ask for more. So make enough that you have some for the following day, or the day after: They keep well in the fridge.
Chilled Lemon Soufflé
- ¼ cup water
- 1 envelope plain gelatin
- 1¼ cup sugar
- The finely grated zest of 3 medium lemons
- 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
Fresh Raspberry Sauce
- 3 half-pint containers of fresh organic raspberries
- ½ - ⅓ cup powdered sugar (according to taste)
- 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice (according to taste)
- Lightly oil 8 or 9 eight ounce ramequins and keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
- Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with hot water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved and the liquid is clear.
- Process 3/4 cup of the sugar with the lemon zest in a food processor until the zest is finely ground.
- Beat the egg yolks, the sugar/lemon zest mixture, lemon juice, and the salt in an electric mixer on medium speed in a large, deep heat-proof bowl until combined well.
- Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water and continue beating for fifteen minutes or until the mixture is very thick and pale.
- Remove the bowl from the heat.
- Add the gelatin mixture and continue to beat until it has cooled down to room temperature (you can set the bowl over ice so that it cools faster).
- Beat the egg whites until just foamy. On medium-high speed, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, and continue to beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Keep on whisking the lemon/egg yolk/gelatin mixture over the ice water until it begins to thicken and set.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream and then fold in the egg whites.
- Pour into the ramequins and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Will keep well in the refrigerator.
Fresh Raspberry Sauce
- Purée the raspberries and sugar in food processor until smooth
- Pour through a strainer into a bowl and add lemon juice to taste. Because this is not cooked, it will not keep more than a week in the refrigerator.
Putting everything together
- To reverse the soufflé into a plate, pass a knife around the edge of the ramequin, revert it over the plate, its edges touching it, and give a gentle shake. The soufflé should un-mold easily.
- With a spoon, pour raspberry sauce over and around the soufflé, add a dollop of whipped cream over it and top it with a fresh raspberry.
- Can be served with lady fingers or small palmiers.