frozen apricot souffle
We like to use California apricots (sometimes labeled "Pacific") in this dessert. They tend to be a deeper orange, and they have a tang that's occasionally lacking in the Turkish or Mediterranean varieties.
Active time: 40 min Start to finish: 9 hr (includes freezing)
Servings: Makes 8 to 10 servings
1/2 pound dried California (Pacific) apricots
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
6 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 cups chilled heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Equipment: a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish; kitchen string; a candy thermometer
Garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners sugar for dusting
Wrap a collar of parchment paper or foil around soufflé dish to extend 3 inches above rim of dish and secure with kitchen string.
Simmer apricots with water in a small saucepan, covered, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Purée apricots in a food processor (mixture will not be completely smooth), then transfer to a large bowl.
Cook sugar with reserved cooking liquid in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Boil, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup registers 238°F (soft-ball stage), about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. While continuing to beat, gradually pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into whites (be careful not to let syrup touch beaters, or it will spatter and harden), then continue to beat until meringue has cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes.
Beat cream with extracts in another bowl using cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks.
Whisk about one third of meringue into apricot purée to lighten, then fold in remaining meringue.
Fold whipped cream into apricot mixture gently but thoroughly, then spoon into soufflé dish, smoothing top. Cover surface with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.
Let soufflé stand at room temperature to soften slightly before serving, about 15 minutes. Remove collar and dust top of soufflé with cocoa powder, coating it completely, then dust very lightly with confectioners sugar.
•The egg whites in this recipe may not be fully cooked.
•Soufflé, without dusting, can be frozen up to 2 days.