Strawberry Delight (Frozen Strawberry Soufflés)
(Shared recipe submitted by John Overholt.)
John writes: "IT PAYS to be wary when buying strawberries. In Cheapside (London, Eng) on this day in 1552, a man was placed in the pillory for selling underweight pots of strawberries." ----The furst of July ther was a man and woman on the pelere [pillory] in Chepe-syd; the man sold pots of strawberries, the whyche the pott was not alff fulle, but fylled with forne [fern].---- "So keep your wits about you. Look for bright red berries with fresh, green, unshrivelled stems. Have a sneaky look at the bottom of the container as well, as there are unscrupulous fruit sellers who will happily sell you a punnet of fruit with furry bottoms. Once safely home, eat within a day or two. Keep any washing to just a quick rinse, as strawberries don't like water, and always before hulling, not after."
Prep: Iced, or frozen, strawberry soufflés sit up inches above their pots as if beautifully risen, when in fact they are more of a mousse than a real soufflé. To get this dramatic effect, you will need six straight-sided, 100ml (approximately 3 ounces) deep ramekins or soufflé dishes. First, make the paper collars: fold a doubled length of greaseproof paper and wrap around the outside of each dish to form a collar that comes 2.5cm (1inch) above the rim. Lightly oil the inside paper, secure with paper clips top and bottom and chill until needed. You will need thirty minutes plus freezing time. Make sure you have room in the freezer for the soufflé dishes before you start.
- 300g strawberries (10-1/2 ounces), plus six for serving
- 100g caster sugar (3-1/2 ounces granulated sugar, preferably super fine)
- 3 tablespoons Cointreau, or other orange-flavored liqueur
- 2 large egg whites
- 50g icing sugar (1-3/4 ounces confectioners' sugar), sifted
- 500ml whipping cream (17 ounces)
Whiz the berries, sugar and Cointreau in a blender and set aside. Beat the egg whites until soft and peaky. Add the icing sugar and beat again until you have a firm, glossy meringue. Lastly, beat the cream until soft and peaky. Fold the berry purée and cream together, then fold in the meringue mixture until just mixed, and divide between the chilled soufflé dishes (see introduction), filling them to the top of the paper collars. Smooth the top and freeze overnight. To serve, remove from the freezer for 15 minutes, and gently peel off the papers. Place a single strawberry on top, and serve.
Notes: This recipe contains raw egg whites. If that is an issue, use pasteurized eggs, which are available in most grocery stores.
About John: John is a very good e-mail friend from England, which explains the British spellings and ingredients in his recipes. We have had many conversations about cooking and I am delighted that he decided to share some of the mouth-watering recipes he mentions in his correspondence. He is a great cook. I know he would appreciate hearing from you. His e-mail address is Overholt@tiscali.co.uk.