I first enjoyed a similar double-baked souffle at a winery in British Columbia, but I thought it could use some improving and created this “salad”, incorporating the flavors of a Waldorf Salad. This makes a light and visually appealing first course.

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups whole milk, heated
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 ounces bleu cheese (or gorgonzola or Roquefort), crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into slivers
  • 1 celery rib, cut into slivers
  • ½ cup walnut halves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Butter 6 six-ounce ramekins.  Sprinkle the buttered ramekins with the bread crumbs, gently tapping out any excess.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  When foam subsides, stir in the flour, cooking 1 minute.  Whisk in the heated milk, whisking continuously until the roux thickens.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.  When fully combined, stir in the cayenne, then the bleu cheese.  (Don’t worry if the cheese doesn’t completely melt.)
  3. Whip the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until they hold firm glossy peaks.  Stir one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then rapidly fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care to not over-blend.
  4. Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the ramekins and set them in a large baking dish.  Carefully pour in hot water to measure half-way up the ramekins.
  5. Bake the soufflés until puffed and golden, 30 minutes, and transfer the ramekins to a rack.  Let the soufflés cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Butter a baking sheet.  Run a thin knife around the edges of the soufflé, then invert each soufflé, one at a time, into the palm of your hand and carefully place it, puffed-side up, on the buttered baking sheet.  The soufflés may be held at this point until ready to serve.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Bake the soufflés until puffed and heated through, about 7 minutes.
  8. While the soufflés are baking, whisk the buttermilk, crème fraiche (or sour cream), mayonnaise and lemon juice until smooth.  (It will resemble a ranch salad dressing.)
  9. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the dressing in the center of each plate. Transfer the soufflés on top of the dressing.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of dressing on top of the souffles.  Sprinkle the apple and celery slivers on each soufflé then garnish with the walnuts. Serve and enjoy!