How to make squash souffle

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Planning a winter party? Learn how to make an organic winter squash souffle with The Green Guide's food columnist, Amy Topel. These are delicious!

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  • Amy Topel

    Amy Topel Educator and Food Columnist, The Green Guide Amy Topel honed her culinary skills working in restaurants in New York City. She spent a summer in the kitchen at the Herb Farm with Jerry Traunfeld, and has worked as a private chef and caterer. more about this expert »

in the kitchenBasics
How to make squash souffle Here’s how to make a lovely baked squash soufflé that’s a great alternative to pumpkin pie.

Prepare the squash:
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fiber with the spoon.
  • It’s best to roast the squash as you want it to be as dry as possible for the soufflé. Set the squash halves open side-down on a cookie sheet with a little bit of water.
  • Bake at 350 for an hour to an hour and a half, or until it’s very tender easily pierced with a knife.
  • Let sit for about 40 minutes until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh and mash in a bowl until smooth. Measure about ¾ of a cup of the mashed squash and set aside.

*Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Make the soufflé base:
  • For the soufflé base heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Heat gently; don’t let it brown or burn.
  • Once melted, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour and gently stir (this is called a roux). Stir and cook for about 2 minutes until the raw flour taste is gone.
  • Add 9 oz. of milk and cook, stirring, until thickened (this is a béchamel sauce).
  • Put it in a bowl to cool before adding eggs so the eggs don’t scramble.
  • Add 4 egg yolks and stir until incorporated. Add the turbinado sugar, squash puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix well.

Add whipped egg whites:
  • In a separate bowl, whip 4 room-temperature egg whites with a little bit of sugar until stiff peaks are formed (about 4-6 minutes).
  • Using a spatula, add about 1/3 of the egg whites to the soufflé base, gently folding it in (use gentle motions so that you don’t deflate the egg whites). Once incorporated, add the rest of the egg whites all at once. The mixture doesn’t need to be fully incorporated; just combined.

Fill the ramekins:
  • Prepare 8 ramekins with butter and sugar.
  • Gently spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins and bake immediately for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • You’ll know the soufflés are done when they’ve risen considerably and are dry on top.

Top each ramekin with a dollop of the strained yogurt.
Transcript

Hi I'm Amy Topel from the Green Guide for howdini and today I'm going to show you how to make a lovely baked squash souffle that's a great alternative to pumpkin pie.

The first step is to prepare the squash. I'm going to cut this squash in half and then scoop out the seeds. It's best to roast a squash for a squash souffle because what we're looking for is the pulp to be as dry as it can be. To scoop out the seeds just take a regular spoon and just scrap until you can remove as much of the seed as you can. You want to get rid of all the fiber that's on the inside as well because it won't be nice in the finished souffle.  So once I've scooped all the seeds out, I'm going to simply set my two squash halves on a cookie sheet with a little bit of water, and bake it at three hundred and fifty degrees for maybe an hour or an hour and a half. You just want it to be very tender when pierced with a knife. 

Okay I've allowed the squash to cool for about forty minutes just to make sure it's not too hot to handle, and now I'm going to scoop the flesh out and out it into a bowl so I can mash it. Once the squash is fully mashed I'm going to measure out three quarters of a cup and proceed to make my souffle.

To make the souffle base we're going to start with three tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. We're going to put the butter in and gently heat it. You don't want it to brown or burn in any way. So I'm sprinkling three tablespoons of flour into my saucepan with the melted butter. I'm going to stir this around and get the two to be completely incorporated. This step is actually referred to as making a roux. And what I want to do is cook this mixture for about two minutes so I get out any raw flour flavor. I'm now going to add nine fluid ounces of milk to my butter and flour mixture. If you were in France you'd know this sauce as a bechamel. So we cook these two together until I get a thick paste. So the bechamel has thickened sufficiently and I'm now going to put it in a bowl so it can cool slightly before I add the eggs. I don't want them to scramble. So I'm now ready to add in four egg yolks. Once I put the egg yolks into the mixture I want to stir it around to get it completely incorporated. 

The next step is to add the squash puree, sugar, and spices. I'm adding in a half a cup of turbinado sugar. I prefer turbinado sugar in this recipe because it has a nice molasses sort of flavor to it that really works well with the squash. I'm then going to add in three quarter cup of the squash puree, a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon, an eighth of a teaspoon of ginger, and two pinches of nutmeg. Once I get those things in I really want to make sure that I've really mixed well to that it's fully incorporated. 

The next step is the whip the egg whites with a little bit of sugar to make a nice, airy foam. You start with room temperature egg whites. That way you get more volume. If they're cold you're just not going to get enough air incorporated. I think I'm done. We refer to this as stiff peaks.

I'm now going to combine my whipped egg whites with my souffle base. And I have to do this pretty carefully because what I want to make sure that I don't do is deflate the egg whites. So I'm going to remove the whisk and switch back to a spatula. I'm going to fold a small amount of the egg white into my souffle base to sort of lighten it up. Put in approximately a third of an egg white. I want to gently fold the two together and I'm going to add in the rest all at the same time. Using that same gentle folding technique I'm just going to keep incorporating the two until they've formed a fairly homogenous mixture. It doesn't need to be one hundred percent incorporated.

So I'm now ready to put the mixture into the souffle cups and bake them. I've prebuttered and sugared eight, four ounce ramekins. Just as I was worried about losing air in my souffle as I was folding it together, I'm equally as worried about losing air as I fill the souffle into the cups. So this whole process has to be very gentle. 

I've preheated an oven to four hundred degrees and I'm going to put the souffles in immediately. I'm going to bake the souffles at four hundred degrees for about fifteen minutes. It's very easy to know when they're done because they've really expanded dramatically and the top will look dry. To garnish a souffle, I like to use just a little dollop of drained low-fat yogurt. The tanginess of the yogurt really adds a nice touch to the super sweetness of the souffle itself. I'm just going to try a little here. Mmm. It's delicious. I'm Amy Topel from The Green Guide for howdini. 


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