Courgette and berkswell cheese soufflé
- July 2013
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 1 hour
This quick and easy cheese soufflé recipe is great to share with friends on a summer’s day.
- 46.5g (27.1g saturated)
- 8.5g (4.7g sugars)
- 300ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- 1 small onion, cut into quarters
- 6 cloves
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- ½ tsp lightly crushed black peppercorns
- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 40g plain flour
- 750g courgettes, topped and tailed
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 225g berkswell cheese (see tip), finely grated
- 5 large free-range eggs
- Put the milk, cream, onion, cloves, bay leaves and peppercorns into a small pan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes or so to infuse.
- Bring the milk back to the boil, then strain into a jug (discard the seasonings). Melt 75g of the butter in a medium-size pan, add the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the hot milk. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, until it forms a silky smooth sauce. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
- Meanwhile, coarsely grate the courgettes, toss them with ½ tsp of the salt and leave to drain in a colander for 10 minutes.
- Pour the sauce into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool slightly. Squeeze out as much of the excess liquid from the courgettes as you can, first by hand, then using plenty of kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Melt the remaining butter in a large frying pan, add the courgettes and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Lightly butter a 2.5 litre, about 6cm deep, ovenproof dish. Add 25g of the grated cheese and shake to coat the base and the sides of the dish.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large, very clean mixing bowl and stirring the yolks into the sauce. Stir in the courgettes with 175g of the grated cheese, the remaining ¾ tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Whisk the whites to firm peaks, then gently fold them into the mixture.
- Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish, then scatter over the remaining grated cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes, covering the top loosely with a sheet of foil after about 20 minutes, until it’s puffed, golden and cooked at the very centre, yet still soft and creamy inside. Serve straightaway with a lightly dressed, soft-leaved green salad.
Berkswell is a great British cheese made from ewe’s milk. It’s quite hard like a young parmesan but packed with sweet, nutty flavour. It’s worth seeking out in delis, cheese shops or online, but if you can’t find it, any strong hard cheese such as parmesan or pecorino will work just as well.
This marries beautifully with rounded white Mâcon-Villages from Burgundy.
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