When Head Chef Nathan isn’t in the kitchen he can be found in the market garden at Daylesford Farm, gathering the finest seasonal organic produce for our menu. He sources inspiration from the constantly evolving seasons. This year Daylesford has harvested 10 tonnes of squash, much of which will be stored as late as March next year.
In celebration of this delicious winter crop, Nathan shares a recipe for a pumpkin pie soufflé, ideal for this crisp autumnal time of year.
For the ice cream
½ vanilla pod
300g whole milk
3 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
30g double cream
For the pumpkin mix
200g pumpkin puree
10g demerara sugar
5ml dark maple syrup
100g golden caster sugar
For the ramekins
100g demerara sugar
100g softened unsalted butter
For the soufflé
100g pumpkin purée
5 egg whites
40g golden caster sugar
Put four 8cm ramekins into the fridge to chill.
Place the vanilla pod in a pan with the milk and bring to the boil. Beat the egg yolk and sugar until thick and pale. Add roughly 100ml of the warm milk to the sugar mix, then combine with the remaining hot milk and continue to cook to 84˚C. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and chill immediately.
Once cold, add the cream. Churn in an ice-cream machine. Put to one side to serve chilled.
For the pumpkin mix, reduce 200g of pumpkin puree by simmering over a low heat slowly in an uncovered pan until the mixture has halved. Then add the demerara sugar and dark maple syrup to the heated pumpkin puree. In a separate small bowl, mix the cornflour with a few drops of water to make a paste.
In a very small pan, combine the golden caster sugar and water and heat to 121˚C then whisk a teaspoon of the sugar mixture into the hot pumpkin puree. Add the cornflour paste to the mixture and whisk continuously until the cornflour has cooked out, then set aside.
For the moulds, use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the ramekins with the butter, brushing in an upward motion. Put the sugar into the moulds and roll them around to coat the butter with the sugar.
When you’re ready to serve the soufflés, preheat the oven to 170ºC fan. Reheat the pumpkin mix until warm. Place it in a bowl and whisk in the purée until smooth.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks; then whisk in the sugar in stages. Continue whisking until the whites become glossy. Whisk a small amount of the egg whites into the pumpkin mix to loosen it, then gently fold half of the whites into the pumpkin mix until incorporated then fold in the remainder.
Spoon the mix into the moulds so that it is level with the top of the ramekins and cook in the oven for 7 minutes, until risen.