29 years of imagining, and then converting into one of my hobbies... I hope you'll enjoy it... (^.^)/ , by Marina

December 2, 2013

Pumpkin Souffle

Took me a while to come back, didn't it? As you might know I was on a 5 week journey across Asia, which took off most of my time. But here I am, with an easy treat for the winter days ahead.

Where I come from, Croatia, pumpkins are still generally treated as hog food :). We still have fields of pumpkins grown just to feed the pigs in the backyard. If I was to tell me grandma that I made a pumpkin pie she'd just look at me and say "Eeeeee.....hmmmmm.....ok, if you say so, but don't offer it to me". Yet I managed to get grandpa to plant a few in the garden. \(^.^)/ So now, when they are well ripe and ready to be used, it's a perfect time to share some of the recipes I've tried. Among all the pie, bread, cake and cheesecake recipes you will find online, you'll always end up having extra pumpkin. What to do with it? Try this one! It was invented with the scrapes I had left. :)
It's rather spongy, tasty and just a bit salty - in my opinion a well bound combination when pumpkins are involved. Just mind that this one needs to be served immediately ;). And care... Hot hot hot!


This recipe uses the Hokkaido pumpkin, which is a bit sweet, almost chestnut like. Perfect for muffins and cheesecakes, this type will give just that bit of sugary flavour you wish in a salty souffle. It's skin is rather soft while young, so if they are grown organically you can leave it skin on. If they have been stored for too long you might wish to peel it off, either before or after baking/cooking.

For this recipe the pumpkin should be precooked/baked. You can do it in two different ways, cut the pumpkin in bigger chunks and then:
  • Bake the pumpkin for 15 min on 150°C in the oven, or
  • Steam it for 10-15 min in a steamer.
Either way, the pumpkin is ready once a fork easily pierces it with a gentle touch. It shouldn't give you resistance, if it does leave it a bit more. The baked variety will give you a slightly roasted taste, while the steamed one will give you a more wet matter, so be careful to removed all the extra water from the pieces before you mash it. Peel the pumpkin for this recipe, either before or after cooking it.

The flour I used here is Soy flour, which is gluten free, but not only that, it adds that special tangy aroma. The feta cheese is both cut into chunks and crumbled. The crumbled pieces will dissolve int he mixture giving it taste and saltiness, while the chunks will add some "pieces" inside the souffle to make it more colorful and refreshing.


Total time: 25' (5' preparation, 20' baking), plus 20' to prebake/precook the pumpkin
Serves: 4
Difficulty: moderate
Calories: ~ 148 kcal / person


Ingredients:
- 150 g precooked pumpkin, smashed
- 100 g feta cheese, 2/3 crumbled, 1/3 cut into chunks
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs soy flour
- 1/2 ts baking soda
- pinch of salt
Baking required: 200°C
Special molds required too.


  1. Preheat the oven at 200°C, with lower and upper heater if possible. (No ventilation please)

  2. Prepare the ingredients ahead. You will have to work quickly but steadily. So mash the pumpkin, divide the egg whites from the yolk in two separate bowls, and finally mix the baking soda with the flour, sift it too through a sieve. Cut and crumble the feta cheese into two bowls. Prepare the baking molds ahead as well.

  3. Mix the yolks with a mixer for a few minutes. Add a spoon of flour and continue mixing for two more minutes.

  4. Now add the pumpkin and the feta cheese crumbles. Mix manually with a spatula or with the mixer on low speed.

  5. Add the rest of the flour. Mix manually and slowly. Add the feta cheese chunks. Mix manually again. Set aside.

  6. In a separate bowl mix the egg whites with a pinch of salt (it will help fixing them faster). Make sure the egg whites are cold here. ;) Mix them well with a mixer on high speed until you get a firm snow.

  7. Now add 1/3 of the snow with a wooden spatula in the rest of the mixture. Mix carefully and slowly, to avoid over mixing. Repeat until you finish the egg whites snow. Not over mixing is crucial here.


  8. Fill the molds up to 2/3 - 3/4 high, the rest will rise while baking. Place it on a tray and put in the preheated oven, in the middle both in height and depth.

  9. Bake on 200°C for 20 minutes, or a minute/two less depending on the oven. The souffle is done when it's gotten that golden - light brown cover, and it should rise just above the top of the mold.


  10. Take the souffle out, and serve immediately. Handle carefully since it's hot!



 

Goes great with dry white wine ;)

    TIPS:
  • For baking molds the best ones are ceramic, round and about 10cm high. They will be used as serving dishes too.
  • Preheat the oven ahead. Its important the mixture gets in as soon as it's ready to avoid loosing the fluffiness. Also never open the oven while it's baking or it will fall.
  • When mixing the egg white be sure they are pure, with no residues of yolk, water or anything else. It's crucial for their rising and firming.
  • The souffle will soon fall once out of the oven, so make sure you serve them immediately in the same mold, so maybe place them on another plate with a napkin to avoid it from slipping from the plate and to give the guest something to hold the hot plate while eating. You can notice how it fell in the pictures taken right after it was out of the oven and once served. :) Took us some time to get the right picture ;)
  • Use quality eggs if available, organic and from running hens rather than those kept in cages.

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