Chef Virginia Willis' Georgia Peach Soufflé
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, for the ramekins
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups peeled Pearson peach slices
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 7 large egg whites
- A couple of pinches of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar, for serving
This soufflé uses the meringue method to rise. The flavor is delicate and light. Frozen peaches may be used when peaches are not in season. Simply defrost them before using.
Heat the oven to 400º F. Generously butter six 8-ounce ramekins with butter. Set aside.
In the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment pulse the peaches until coarsely chopped. The pieces should be no larger than 1/4-inch. Remove 3/4 cup and place 2 tablespoons each of the chopped peaches in the prepared ramekins. Set aside.
Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to the remaining peaches. Process until very smooth and pureed. Transfer 1 cup to a medium bowl, discarding any remainder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Add about 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until the whites hold a stiff peak, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until the whites are glossy and hold a long peak when the spoon is lifted, about 1 minute.
Add about a quarter of the beaten egg whites to the peach puree mixture and stir until well mixed. Pour this mixture over the remaining whites and fold them together as lightly as possible.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé ramekins; the mixture should come up to the top of the ramekin. Smooth the top with a metal spatula then run your thumb around the inside rim of each dish, making a shallow "moat" around the edge of the batter. This will help the soufflés to rise straight up. Transfer the filled soufflé ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet to oven.
Bake until puffed, golden and gently set in center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
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