Roasted butternut pudding soufflé

Butternut squash soufflé

Not a pudding, not yet a soufflé, but tasty nonetheless! I saw a recipe in a very very old cookbook for squash pudding. It sounded good, but a little stodgy. So I thought I’d lighten it up a bit with some sneaky soufflé-making techniques. And I added some goat cheese and tarragon, because I think they taste wonderful with butternut squash. The result was something between a pudding and a souffle. I baked it in a large flat bowl, so that it would have a good crispy-outside to soft-inside ratio. It never got as impressively lofty as a normal soufflé, but it was quite delicious. It had a pleasing, comforting texture, perfect for a day of freezing rain, and the flavor was subtle and complex in a way that made you want to keep eating more and more. Serve it with something green and crunchy and flavorful, like an arugula salad.

Here’s New York Herald Tribune, by Martial Solal from A bout de souffle. I know, I know, but it’s a killer track!!

3 T butter
3 T flour
1 shallot, very finely chopped
2 clove of garlic, roasted and smushed (see below)
pinch of thyme
pinch of sage
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, well chopped
1/2 cup goat’s cheese, crumbled.
3 eggs – separated
pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée. (Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Place it face down on a tray, with a few garlic cloves set in the spaces where the seeds were. Roast at 450 for 40 minutes or more, until the outside is starting to brown and it collapses when you press on it with a knife. Let it cool, and then peel the skins off. Put it into a processor with the garlic and whirl it up. This recipe uses a cup, but you can use the rest in soup, or in Butternut-beer-pies, which I’ll tell you about in a little while…)

salt and plenty of pepper.

Warm the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s bubbling and just starting to brown, add the flour, and whisk well. Cook it through for a few minutes.

Add the shallot and herbs, and continue cooking till everything looks dry and like it’s starting to brown.

Pour in the milk. Whisk well, and stir for a few minutes till it’s thick and smooth. Take it off the heat and very carefully whisk in the egg yolks. You don’t want them to cook and curdle. I’m a coward about cooking egg yolks in this type of dish, so I returned it to the hot burner, but left the burner off, and cooked it a few minutes more. When it’s nice and thick and cooked through, take it off the heat and scrape it into a large bowl. Stir in the squash, the goat cheese and the tarragon. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Whisk the eggwhites till they’re quite stiff but not dry. If you have cream of tartar, whisk in a pinch of that, it will speed the process.

Very very carefully, fold the egg whites into the squash mixture.

Pour into a casserole dish or wide flat bowl that’s been greased and floured.

Bake at 400 degrees (preheated) for about 1/2 an hour, till it’s puffed and brown and crispy on top.

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