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Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity: Pumpkin Soufflé

It feels like fall in earnest now. The crisp cool air. The wooly sweaters. The leaves changing colors on the branches. It’s like the J. Crew catalog! But to anyone who will listen, this is also a season that calls out a challenge. It says: PUT PUMPKIN IN EVERYTHING! Well, Fall, I’m calling your bluff.

Pumpkin and nutmeg are wonderful in many things and they play a huge part in my olfactory memories of fall. I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin soup, and pumpkin scones, and pumpkin lattes. But in a soufflé? I wasn’t so certain.

pumpkin souffle

I was also a bit worried about making a soufflé because the last time I tried, I failed to beat the egg whites to the proper level of stiffness and everything collapsed horribly. This time my luck and/or wrist strength was a bit better (although I’m no Julia Child) and the soufflé stood up on technical merits.

But back to the Fall Challenge. Does pumpkin belong in everything? I would argue that it doesn’t belong in this soufflé. It doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be sweet or savoury and it doesn’t really walk the line all that well. I’m sure there will be a mob at my door for saying that pumpkin and frothy egg foam aren’t a match made in heaven, but it just didn’t work for me. So, 10 points for trying, but I think I’ll get my foamy pumpkin flavor in the form of an overpriced latte.

Pumpkin Soufflé

1 cup canned or thick mashed cooked fresh pumpkin
1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine pumpkin with nutmeg, lemon and sugar; mix well.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add salt; fold into pumpkin mixture. Fill greased 1-quart baking dish or individual molds two-thirds full; set in pan of hot water. Bake in preheated 350°F oven about 40 minutes for large mold, 25 to 30 minutes for individual molds. Yield 4 – 6 servings.

The recipe featured in this post is from The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking, published in 1982.

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

4 replies on “Morbid Curiosity: Pumpkin Soufflé”

Mmm, pumpkin.  This-a-here book contains, among other wonderments, not one, but TWO recipes for pumpkin curry: The Pumpkin Cookbook by Hamlyn ! One is the coconut milk Thai style, one is a dry Indian style. Highly recommended. Lots of ways to use pumpkin beyond what you’d expect. There’s a recipe for mini pumpkins roasted with gorgonzola and bacon. My god! I’m salivating just thinking of it.

I was on a pumpkin kick for a while in the early ’00s when I discovered the substance known as pumpkin butter. It’s like apple butter, where you cook down pumpkin puree and add lots of brown sugar until it’s a jam-like substance. Good as a dollop in soups, spread on baked goods, etc.

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