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.
- 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)
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.)
Add one cup soy milk and bring to a simmer. You should now have a thick white sauce. Let it cool a little.
Separate two eggs.
Zest one or two Meyer lemons and juice them.
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.
Beat the egg whites with a little salt and cream of tarter to soft peaks.
Add a tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites and beat until almost stiff.
Fold the egg whites into the lemon mix.
Pour into sprayed ramekins.
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....”