Apricot Souffles



  1. 2 1/2 ounces (70 g) California dried apricots halves (about 15), snipped in half
  2. 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine
  3. 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  4. 3 tablespoons (45 g) plus 3 tablespoons (45 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  5. 1 large egg yolk
  6. 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  7. Pinch of salt


  1. Add the apricot pieces and white wine to a small saucepan.
  2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the saucepan, then drop in the pod.
  3. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the apricots begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand until the apricots are tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  6. Butter four 4-ounce (125-ml) ramekins or souffle molds.
  7. Pour some sugar into each and tilt the ramekin to coat the sides; gently tap out any excess.
  8. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  9. Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan (it can be rinsed, dried, and used for another purpose; see page 14).
  10. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, process the apricots and their soaking liquid, along with 3 tablespoons (45 g) sugar and the egg yolk until smooth.
  11. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl.
  12. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or in a bowl by hand), whisk together the egg whites and salt on low speed until frothy.
  13. Increase the speed to high, gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 g) sugar, and continue whisking until the whites form shiny, stiff peaks.
  14. Fold one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the apricot puree, then gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not to deflate them.
  15. A few streaks of egg whites are preferable to an overfolded and deflated souffle mixture.
  16. Divide the souffle mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins (dont worry if the mixture rises a little above the rims), then sprinkle with a light, even dusting of sugar.
  17. Bake until the tops are browned and the souffles quiver softly when gently nudged, about 9 minutes.
  18. Serve the souffles right away.
  19. Pass a pitcher of Raspberry Sauce (page 246), creme anglaise (page 237), or White Chocolate Sauce (page 244) at the table for pouring into the souffles.