Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
After dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant, the waitress suggested my friend and I try the farmer's market fresh lemon soufflé for dessert. What followed was nothing short of culinary bliss, with ooh's and ahh's over the sweet, airy, lemony, delight. Realizing that most soufflé's contain a bit of flour, I resolved to replicate the joy in a gluten-free version. I've done a pretty good version using just corn starch, but I've been experimenting with various flours and starches as a substitute for the 2 tablespoons of wheat flour the recipe usually requires. This is the best I've come up with, so far. I will continue to tinker, as should you. Enjoy!
1/2 stick of butter (for greasing cooking dishes)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, raw if possible
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice*
1 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon zest*
2 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
1/2 tablespoon potato starch (plus a dash more, as needed)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (McCormick's)
Powdered sugar (gluten-free)
*Note - If Meyer lemons are not available, you may substitute regular lemons.
Place oven rack in the lowest possible position. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Butter 8 (6-ounce) ramekins, and dust lightly with 2 tablespoons sugar; refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Mix milk and lemon zest in a small saucepan and scald over medium heat. Remove from heat, and cool.
Use an electric mixer, or hand beat remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 egg yolks in a large bowl 3 to 4 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down side of bowl several times.
Gradually mix in sorghum flour and 1/2 tablespoon of potato starch until blended, scraping down side of bowl.
Add milk mixture to egg mixture, and mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and salt.
Heat mixture on low (or in a double boiler), and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until thick and creamy (add more potato starch as necessary).
Remove from heat, and cool completely.
You can do this up to 2 days in advance, and store it sealed in the refrigerator. Just make sure you bring it to room temperature before cooking.)
Place egg whites and cream of tartar into a separate bowl and mix at medium speed for about 10 seconds.
Increase speed to medium-high, and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. (Do not over-beat; egg whites will appear dry and granular if they are over-beaten.)
Stir about one-quarter of egg whites into cooled egg mixture to lighten it.
Fold in remaining whites gently, using a rubber spatula, just until incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix.
Pour mixture gently into prepared soufflé cups to top of rim.
Cleaning the rim with your finger will help the soufflés to rise properly.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; lower heat to 350°, and bake 4 more minutes or until the soufflé has risen above dish, the outside is set, and the inside remains a bit loose and jiggly when shaken
Remove from oven, dust with powdered sugar, and serve immediately in the same containers.