Roger's Meyer lemon souffle (dairy free)

The psychologist Roger Webb was kind enough to invite me to give a series of talks at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and through that visit, we discovered our common love of cooking and food. The moment I saw Roger’s giant Vulcan stove (6 burners, a full-size griddle, and more ovens than I could count), I knew we would be friends forever. Roger made me amazing dairy-free food during my stay, including blueberry muffins to die for, and chicken and pork he had smoked himself. Every time I started to feel hungry, Roger handed me a delightful sandwich of smoked meat on a homemade roll. I’m afraid he spoiled me for all future hosts!

Roger was going to make this dairy-free lemon souffle while I was visiting, but he hadn’t yet perfected the recipe. Now he has, and with his permission, I share it here. I am looking forward to making this with Meyer lemons Roger is sending me from the trees he tends with his lovely, green-thumbed wife.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons soy “butter”
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 Meyer lemons (depends on size; see step 5)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cream of tarter
  • diary-free cooking spray (e.g., Pam “butter” flavor)
  • ramekins (see “baking,” below)

 

Directions:

  1. Cook 3 tablespoons of flour in 3 tablespoons of soy “butter.” (You may have to play around to get a good roux because the soy “butter” varies in how much fat is there.) 

  2. Add one cup soy milk and bring to a simmer.  You should now have a thick white sauce.  Let it cool a little.

  3. Separate two eggs. 

  4. Zest one or two Meyer lemons and juice them.

  5. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of zest, and the two egg yolks to the sauce.  Whisk everything together well.

  6. Beat the egg whites with a little salt and cream of tarter to soft peaks. 

  7. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites and beat until almost stiff.

  8. Fold the egg whites into the lemon mix.

  9. Pour into sprayed ramekins.

 

Baking:

According to Roger, “Baking will vary with the dish or dishes you use. I used four 4'' ramekins the last time I did this and the amount of mix filled those a little below the rim.  When they rose, the came up maybe 3/4-inch above the rim.  I baked mine 18 minutes in a 375 convection oven. [Yes, he’s also got a convection oven.] That was about right.  You'll have to keep an eye on 'em to make sure they are not getting too brown.  So far, mine have been falling too fast, so I may try to work a little more flour into the white sauce and cook a little longer.”

 

Roger adds: “There are two notes I might add: if someone did this with regular lemons, the amount of juice and zest may be a little too much.  The Meyer lemons are more subtle. I might also add that souffles are generic. Now that I know I can make a good roux and white sauce with non-dairy ingredients, the whole souffle genre is open. I do souffles with left over salmon and will try that non-dairy next time the opportunity presents itself. Also chocolate....”

 

Thanks, Roger!

 

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