Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lemon Violet Souffle

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So you did what I told you to and picked wild violets, right?  Then you’re all ready to get started on this recipe.

What? No violets? Never fear, this souffle tastes great without them too. Or you can throw in some berries if you like – blueberries are a perfect match, but raspberries or strawberries would be nice too. But if you’ve got violets, it makes a stunning presentation. As a bonus, they’re high in iron and vitamins A and C. The flavor is very delicate, and hard to describe – lightly floral, slightly lemony. Violets have been used by gourmet cooks for centuries, when ancient Greeks and Romans made violet wine and used the flowers for syrups, salads and other recipes. Even the leaves are edible, but like I said in my last post, make sure you pick them in a place that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides.

This is one of those cold souffles that is really a mousse. Easy to make ahead of time and store in the fridge until serving and perfect for Mother’s Day.

Here’s the recipe:

Lemon-Violet Souffle (makes 6 servings)

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

4 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup lemon juice

grated rind of 1 1/2 lemons

1 cup heavy cream

fresh or candied violets

Sprinkle gelatin on cold water to soften. Combine egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt, lemon juice and rind in the top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly until slightly thick and custardy. This is what it will look like at this point:

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Stir in the gelatin and cool. Keep checking because if you let it get too cold, it will gel completely and then you’ve got to reheat again and let it cool again. (Guess who goofed up here and had to reheat again.)

Beat the egg whites until they hold shape, then add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until mixture forms peaks. Whip the cream until it holds shape and fold in the violets, maybe about 1/4 cup or so:

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Pour mixture into a souffle dish and chill two to three hours. The recipe fills a four-cup souffle dish completely, but if you want it to look extra tall and sit above the rim of the souffle dish, choose a smaller dish (I used two individual souffle cups) and tape a wax-paper collar around the top edge. The mixture is sufficiently dense and will not dribble down the sides if you tape the collar tightly enough. Remove the wax paper collar before serving.

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Just look at this creamy texture.

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Serve in pretty stemware. I drizzled some of my violet jelly on top.

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15 comments:

doggybloggy said...

I am absolutely not believing my eyes! What a beautiful souffle what a stunning lavender color - WOW!

Elra said...

OH my, how pleasant it is to see this post on the Saturday morning. Look so smooth and creamy. Ant the Lemon Violet sounds very exotic.

Stacey Snacks said...

What a nice post for a Saturday morning!
Your lovely photos just brightened my day!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Linda, these are beautiful!

Sue said...

This looks fabulous....food magazine worthy...Happy Mother's Day!

Did you happen to see the Jersey houses I showed on the blog...That old house at the bend of the Canal Rd. is shown...

Marta said...

Oh wow, this looks just so lovely and it must be so fragrant.
Perfectly cute for Mother's Day!
Thanks for sharing this great recipe, enjoy Mother's Day!
M

Jamie said...

This is sooo gorgeous! It looks like the perfect soufflé texture as well. And the lemon and violet combo was fantastic I bet! Beautiful!

lisaiscooking said...

Beautiful souffle! Sounds delicious too. I usually have some violas in my garden, but I failed to plant them this year and am regretting it.

Meg said...

It's beautiful and I bet it tastes amazing!

Chow and Chatter said...

that is beautiful and so cool to use violets very interesting just wen to Italy wonderful place, my lil baby daughter was always referred to as Ciao Bella lol

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Linda this looks so delicious! Who need gelato when you can make this at home? I bet lavender flowers would be nice as a flavoring also. This is something I'll have to try to make one day..thanks!

Christelle said...

Wow, I am very impressed and hungry now!!

cathy said...

that purple... such tiny flowers... so wonderful!

Nicole said...

Ohhh.. la la. That is a site. So delicate and pretty. Looks like it would melt in your mouth.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Linda, That's absolutely beautiful!
So unique, I've never seen anything like this. I'm enjoying your photo's too!