A NOTE FROM EXECUTIVE CHEF BILL SCATENA “My grandmother was Scottish but her husband was Italian and she really loved to bake. She accrued thousands of pages of recipes over the course of her life and I grew up watching my mom make them. This recipe is inspired by my grandmother’s sweet potato soufflé, a staple on our Thanksgiving table.
At Pippin Hill, we get a lot our specialty produce from Jo and Rob Pendergraph of Manakintowne Farms, a family owned and operated farm in Powhatan County, Virginia. This time of year, Jo gets pumpkins from all over southern Virginia, and one of my favorites is an heirloom variety called Jarrahdale. Despite its untraditional grayish exterior, the Jarrahdale has a vibrant, almost neon orange flesh. The brilliant color and wonderful sweetness makes it incredible to work with for soups, pasta fillings, donuts, and more. If you have the time, it’s ideal to make the pumpkin puree one day ahead as the flavors will deepen overnight.”
Jarrahdale Pumpkin Soufflé Recipe
For the pumpkin puree
1 Jarrahdale pumpkin or pie pumpkin, seeded and cut in half (about 5 pounds)
1-2 tablespoons pure olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pinches sea salt
For the soufflé
¼ cup whole milk
½ tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground clove
2 teaspoons plus ½ cup sugar, divided, plus more for the ramekins
½ cup pumpkin puree
5 egg whites
Pinch kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons butter, for greasing ramekins
Candied ginger for garnish (recipe)
To make the pumpkin puree:
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet, skin-side down, and drizzle with oil. Remove thyme leaves from stems and reserve. Using the back of a knife, pound the woody stems to split and release the oil inside. Scatter stems over the pumpkin, gently pressing into the flesh, then season with salt. Roast uncovered in preheated oven until pumpkin is tender and caramelized, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven, discard thyme sprigs, and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until butter smells nutty and begins to brown, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Scoop the flesh of the pumpkin into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add reserved thyme leaves and pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running, stream in browned butter and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt if needed. Transfer ½ cup pumpkin puree to a large mixing bowl, reserving the rest for another use such as soup or pasta filling.
To make the soufflé:
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Butter four small (3 or 4-oz) ramekins and dust with sugar, tapping off excess, then set inside a shallow baking dish.
Combine milk, cornstarch, spices, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Cook until thickened, continuing to whisk, for about two minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, then stir into the pumpkin puree.
Using a handheld whisk or an electric mixer, whip egg whites and a pinch of salt in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir one-third of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture to help loosen the puree. Gently fold in remaining egg whites until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared ramekins until about three-quarters full. Bake until soufflé has risen a few inches and the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with candied ginger and serve immediately.
Pairs with our Bin 21 2013
Photo by Andrea Hubbell