On a recent trip to Spain, I had the good fortune to enjoy lunch at a Michelin star restaurant in Toledo. El Carmen de Montesion delivered a memorable seven-course meal — lunch ended around 5 p.m. and the one dish I couldn’t get out of my head was the dessert: pistachio soufflé.
Fast forward a month, as I rambled through my local farmers market and found a jar of pistachio butter calling my name.
The vendor, Green Aisle Grocery, has an occasional stand at the Headhouse Market, and also the Collingswood, N.J., Farmers Market, and they have two brick-and-mortar locations. They offer a wide array of local delicacies, including raw milk, fancy bitters, chocolates, teas and, most especially, their house-made preserves, pickles and nut butters. www.greenaislegrocery.com/
I bought the (expensive) jar of pistachio butter and raced home to create a recipe. The results were staggeringly good — not as pretty as the one in Toledo, but every bit as delicious. And best of all, my recipe, which serves four to six, depending on portion size, uses little sugar, butter and flour. So, while not a “health food,” it’s a dessert that tastes far more decadent than it actually is.
A note on the eggs: It is essential that the whites remain totally yolk free or they will not whip to the required stiffness. If you break the yolk and drip some into the whites, use the eggs for something else and start over.
Serves four to six
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
⅔ cup milk
4 eggs, separated
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup pistachio butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray a soufflé pan with oil; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk it into a paste, then add the milk and continue stirring until it’s totally smooth and rather thick.
- Add the vanilla, ⅓ cup sugar and pistachio butter, and continue whisking until it’s totally blended; set aside.
- Whip the egg whites on high with the remaining tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk the egg yolks into the pistachio mixture and, when total blended, fold them into the egg whites.
- Pour the mixture into a prepared pan and bake for about 15-18 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled, topped with fresh whipped cream or chocolate sauce as desired.