This is a dish that will have everyone oohing and aahing! It looks so impressive and tastes that way too. I've had this recipe in a folder for years, but for some reason have never gotten around to making it--why must I be such a procrastinator?! This souffle is perfection--light, airy, creamy on the inside with a deliciously browned outer crust and a subtle corn flavor. If you like cornbread, you will love it!
I'm including this in my Thanksgiving roundup because it feels very right for the holiday, but unless you're having a very small group of people, I wouldn't attempt this. It's not hard to make at all, but because it's a true souffle, you have to watch it and serve it immediately when it comes out of the oven and that's just too much pressure when your kitchen is crowded with relatives and you're trying to juggle getting the turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, veggies and your aunt all out of the kitchen at the same time!! It would however, be great to make with leftovers for the holiday weekend when things are a little calmer and you don't have to concentrate on an entree.
There aren't many ingredients here and as with all souffles, eggs figure largely. You mix the egg yolks into a milk/cornmeal mixture--
Then beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter--
Then it all bakes in a souffle dish. We were so excited watching it rise!
My daughter and I jumped for joy when it came out of the oven. We couldn't believe we had actually made it! Try it and you'll want to do a little jump too--just be careful not to jump too hard, you don't want your masterpiece to fall!
Spoon Bread Souffle
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 45-50 minutes; Total Time: About 1 1/2 hours
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups white cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, separated
1. Make sure oven rack is in the middle position and preheat oven to 375ºF. Generously butter a 2 1/2- 3 quart souffle dish (make sure it's at least 3-4 inches deep) or another similar sized baking dish. Set aside.
2. Heat milk in a 2 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add cornmeal gradually, whisking and then cook it, continuing to whisk it until the mixture is very thick and smooth for 2-5 minutes (mine was much closer to 5). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add in the butter, salt, baking powder and yolks and whisk to mix well. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the cornmeal mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whites, thoroughly but gently.
4. Place the batter into the souffle dish and bake until golden brown and puffed up, about 45-50 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: Recipe from a November 2003 issue of Gourmet Magazine