26 December 2013

Pumpkin Souffles

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Pumpkin Souffles
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Typically, I'd make a pie or some other traditional dessert for Christmas. This time, I decided to try my hand at souffles using pumpkin puree from Pacific Foods. They sent me a kit containing chicken stock, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin puree packed in Tetra Pak cartons. I have sort of been avoiding canned foods, though I've made an exception for pumpkin because I didn't realize I could get it in a box. Besides BPA, there are other reasons why foods packed in Tetra Pak cartons are more desirable:
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My kit included:
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Pacific Foods Chicken Stock. I like using chicken stock in cooking because it contains less or no salt than broth, leaving you in more control of the seasoning.

Chicken stock can be used in stuffing, gravy, and risotto, etc.

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Pacific Foods Pumpkin Puree. The quality of the puree seemed a little thinner compared to the thicker canned puree, and it had more liquid. The taste was fresher.
I'm using this today for the pumpkin souffles, though obviously it can be used for pie and other recipes.


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Pacific Foods Cranberry Sauce. I haven't tried this yet. It reminds me of my older brother since we always serve a can of cranberry sauce for him at holiday meals. He loves the texture and taste.

Besides as a condiment, I like using this as a spread for breads, or maybe even cinnamon rolls!

Pacific Foods Pumpkin Puree
Here, you can see what the consistency of the pumpkin looks like. It really does remind me of fresh pumpkin puree. The container is easy to open, but there is no good way to store it once opened.

mise en place
The ingredients have been assembled. Since this is my first try at a souffle, I didn't want to be left scrambling for ingredients. First, though, you should prep the baking dishes by buttering four 8-inch ramekins and coating in granulated sugar. Place in a large baking dish and set aside.

I halved a recipe from Epicurious. The method to make these souffles consists of a custard-like base, which is milk whisked with corn starch, a little sugar, and spices. After it's cooked, pumpkin puree is whisked in. In my stupidity, I didn't quite get that and I added the puree from the very beginning.

Pumpkin custard mixture
Although this mistake didn't ruin the souffles, I would advise you to follow the recipe according to the directions and not my oversight. For this particular pumpkin puree, my error worked out in my favor as it thickened up the moisture from the pumpkin.

egg white meringue
folding meringue into pumpkin custard
Once the custard has cooled to room temperature, you proceed with the recipe by whipping up a meringue, which is folded into the pumpkin custard. I think I did a pretty decent job, though I need to look up how thoroughly a souffle batter should be folded. Mine had just a few streaks of custard throughout the bottom, and I didn't want to go any further to prevent the meringue from deflating.

pumpkin souffle batter
The mixture looks very light, but I assure you it's still flavorful.

souffle batter in ramekins
Divide mixture between prepared ramekins. The original recipe called for 6-ounce ramekins, though it seems to me that the smaller size ramekins would have been too small for the amount of batter. Maybe I'll smooth the tops next time.

Pumpkin souffles
Mine rose quite dramatically! Although they didn't rise very symmetrically, and that might have been because the ramekin dishes weren't properly greased and dusted. In any case, they tasted delicious on their own with just a light dusting of confectioners' sugar. The sides were cooked while the centers remained softer. There were a few visible streaks of egg white in the center, which is probably my folding error . Again, I'm not quite sure how a proper souffle should be in consistency, though from what I remember of Master Chef, I'm on the right track!


I was pleased with the quality of Pacific Foods Pumpkin Puree. Since there is so much pumpkin left, I might make more souffles.

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6 comments:

  1. Holy cow those are some gorgeous souffles! Great job :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whoa this looks SO good! I don't think pumpkin season can be over for me yet now :)

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not over until you run out of pumpkin! And I still have a sugar pumpkin that I've reserved for a pie.

      Delete
  3. Souffles scare me a bit but you make them look totally doable!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those look DELICIOUS! I am going to have to try this...yum!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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