Mirabelle Souffle

An unusual souffle made with plums, Mirabelle Souffle must be served as soon as it is taken from the oven. Greengages or Victoria or any other plums may be submitted if you cannot obtain mirabelles.

When you have cooked the plums, pour the juice into a glass or jug and chill in the refrigerator for

1 hour. It makes a very refreshing drink either plain or topped with soda water.2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

12 oz. mirabelle plums, halved and stoned

2 tablespoons cold water

4 oz. sugar

2 oz. flour

10 fl. oz. milk, scalded (brought to just below boiling point) grated rind and juice of

1 lemon

5 egg yolks

6 egg whites

Using the teaspoon of butter, grease the bottom and sides of a 3-pint souffle dish. Sprinkle the inside of the dish with the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Place the plums in a medium-sized saucepan with the water and 2 ounces of the sugar. Cover the pan and place it over moderate heat. Cook the plums for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are soft but still retain their shape. Remove the pan from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the plum halves from the pan and place them, cut sides down, in the souffle dish. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 ‘F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly.

Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until it is thick and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining sugar and the lemon rind and juice. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Set the pan aside to allow the egg yolk mixture to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks.

With a metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the souffle dish on top of the plums and place the dish in the centre of the oven. Bake for

30 to

35 minutes or until the souffle has risen and is lightly browned.

Remove the souffle dish from the oven and serve at once.