Butternut squash, blue cheese and quince jelly soufflé
- February 2019
- Serves 4 for lunch or as a starter, or 2 as a main course
- Hands-on time 30 min, Oven time 35 min
It’s one of the classics, yet many cooks shy away from it. Once you understand and master the technique, though – thickening the base, whisking the egg whites to perfect peaks – making a soufflé becomes a joy. Our recipe is flavoured with the sweet nuttiness of roasted squash, the tang of quality cheese and a touch of fruity acidity.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 33.1g (15.6g saturated)
- 27.8g (11.2g sugars)
- 500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
- Drizzle olive oil
- 350ml whole milk
- 2 shallots, halved
- 6 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 35g butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
- 2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
- 35g plain flour
- 50g cashel blue or roquefort cheese, crumbled
- 50g manchego cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp quince jelly
- 5 large free-range eggs, separated
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
You’ll also need…
- 1 litre soufflé dish or baking dish
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the squash on a roasting tray, toss with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 30-35 minutes until soft and golden.
- Put the milk, shallots, peppercorns and bay leaves in a pan. Bring the mixture almost to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.
- Brush the inside of the soufflé/baking dish liberally with melted butter, then scatter in the breadcrumbs. Tip the dish on its side and roll around until coated with crumbs.
- Once the squash is tender, take out of the oven and transfer to the prepared soufflé dish, then set aside. Turn the oven down to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.
- Melt the 35g butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook over the heat for 3-4 minutes. Pour the infused milk through a sieve into a jug (discard the flavourings), then gradually stir into the butter/flour mixture (known as a roux), stirring constantly until smooth. Cook, stirring, over the heat for 8-10 minutes until thickened. It’s important the consistency is smooth and thick as this sauce (known as béchamel) will form the base of the soufflé.
- Pour the sauce base into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the blue cheese, most of the grated manchego and the quince jelly. Beat in the egg yolks and season with the sea salt and lots of black pepper.
- Put the egg whites in a separate large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl, then use an electric mixer to whip them to stiff peaks – they need to be firmly holding their shape. Using a metal spoon, swiftly and gently fold the whites into the soufflé base in about 3 goes (see tip), taking care not to knock out the air you’ve carefully whisked into the whites. Still working quickly, pour the mixture into the dish on top of the squash. Sprinkle over the rest of the grated cheese, then bake for 25-30 minutes until the soufflé is well risen but still has a very slight wobble in the middle. Serve straightaway (it will sink fast!) with a sharply dressed green salad.
Fold a small amount of the egg whites into the cheese sauce first to loosen it (step 7) – this will make it easier to fold in the rest.
Roast the squash and infuse the milk up to 48 hours ahead, then chill separately. Bring to room temperature to complete the recipe.
A dry French chenin blanc – a white that tastes a bit like quince itself.
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