Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Lemon Sooful Sit-In {Perfectly Tart Lemon Souffles}


I am a fairly casual person and am most comfortable in jeans, eating homemade macaroni and cheese, baking good ol’ chocolate chip cookies and not having someone scrape crumbs of the crisp white table cloth while “I dine”. Don’t get into my chocolate preferences though because my whole theory on my own unpretentiousness just may sail right on out the window.

So when I decided to make Lemon Souffles for our Valentine’s dessert, it seemed a bit over-the-top for me, and intentionally I started to refer to my dessert as a lemon sooful. It made my daughter laugh and me feel like it was an attainable silly little dessert rather than a fancy schmancy something or other that only a pastry chef could succeed at.

It worked. I managed to fool myself with the misnomer and never felt intimidated by the reality that it most likely would fall and may not turn out. But I thought, if done right, it would be the most perfect ending to steak and lobster and would not be so heavy that all we would want to do later is nap.

And if you are thinking what kind of regular gal eats steak and lobster…I’ll let you know that when it was requested for a birthday dinner awhile back, I happened to serve it on paper plates. Gasp! And last night WAS Valentine’s day after all and I’m no schlep. Scroll through my blog—I have proof.

The baking soofuls, trapped in their 350 degree stainless steel armour, were almost more than my antsy self could handle. I turned the oven light on…of course. Then, half way through, I started to wonder, “Are they rising?”, and decided to plant my butt right on the floor in front of the oven.  I squinted, tilted my head just so and practically pressed my nose against the glass. My daughter sat down next me. She is quite my second hand in the kitchen and definitely an empathetic supporter. Then my Golden Retriever thought we were having a kitchen floor party and gave us both a big lick and sat down with us.

Finally, when these babies came out of the oven, THEY HAD RISEN!  I shouted with joy.  My husband said, “Sh…aren’t you supposed to be quiet around souffles?”. They fell a millimeter. Of course, being the graceful ballerina-like baker that I am NOT, I accidentally landed the cookie sheet a little roughly on top of the stove. I gasped. They fell another millimeter.  Note slightly fallen souffle in above photo. Then I tripped, just a little bit, while gently carrying them to the table, and they fell another millimeter. Note fairly squashed souffle in photo below.

A little sunken after my graceful serving techniques.

Oh, in the excitement of telling you all about their height, I forgot to tell you about their taste and that would be quite a disservice to them. They were perfectly and puckeringly tart, but just slightly sweet, airy and when you scooped a spoonful, with a touch of the whipped cream, a dust of the powdered sugar and a bit of the raspberry, it was complete and utter Nirvana; kinda perfect for the evening ahead…

Martha Stewart’s Lemon Souffles

Makes 8 small ramekins or 6 average sized ramekins
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for dishes
8 large egg yolks plus 10 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dishes
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons),
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Garnish: confectioners’ sugar, raspberries and freshly made whipped cream

To Make the Souffles: Prepare your ramekins by smearing a little butter on the bottom and sides and then sprinkling a smattering of granulated sugar in each one. Spin the ramekin slowly over the sink so that the sugar coats the sides and the bottom of the ramekin.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Separate your eggs. Important helpful hint; When separating large quantities of eggs, make sure to separate each one over an empty liquid measuring cup, then drop the egg yolk into a small bowl (with all of the other egg yolks as you go) and pour the white into another bowl (with all of the other egg whites as you go). In my younger and more novice days, I would think that I could just separate them over the egg white bowl and then, sure enough, one little bit of yolk would fall in and ruin the whole batch. Don’t do that. It’s too sad. You will only need 8 egg yolks but 10 egg whites so just toss your two leftover yolks or be creative and add them to a Caesar salad dressing if you like.

Whisk together yolks, flour, lemon zest and 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.

On the stove, heat the milk in a small sauce pan on medium heat until it boils. Keep an eye on it and stir now and then because milk burns easily. Once it is boiling, pour it slowly while whisking the yolks, just a bit at a time, into the egg yolk mixture so that you don’t curdle your eggs. Once the hot milk has been amply whisked into the egg yolks, pour the egg and milk mixture back into the sauce pan and cook on medium heat whisking constantly until it becomes thick like a pudding. This will take about 1-2 minutes.

Martha will tell you to “strain through a sieve” at this point. I did NOT for two reasons: 1)I am impatient and 2) I was skeptical if I would end up with enough of the egg mixture after pushing it through a sieve. You can decide what is best for you. I do believe it would have been even airier if I had done this (Smidge-fellow blogger in comments above-, if you make it and sieve it, let me know how it goes so I can update the instructions here). After straining it (or not), stir in the lemon juice and butter and whisk gently.

Beat your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with A BALLOON WHISK (paddle attachment will not do the job folks) until foamy. Start with your mixer on low and then gradually increase as they thicken until you have it up to a higher speed (not necessarily the highest speed). When foamy, add one tablespoon at a time of the granulated sugar (1/4 c. + 2 Tablespoons).  Beat until stiff peaks form.

Oh so gently, like a ballerina, fold your egg whites- just 1/3 of the whites at a time-into your egg yolk mixture. Folding means gently using a rubber scraper and bringing the bottom of the batter over the top and repeating with a very light touch until everything is incorporated. See how it should look?

Gently folding in the whipped eggwhites ever so carefully.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed cookie sheet for ease of moving them when filled. Fill the ramekins to the top with your batter, using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 16 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. DO NOT PEEK! They will fall if you do. When the timer says they’re done, they’re done. Don’t second guess it. Gently, with the utmost of care, take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Serve IMMEDIATELY! Dust with powdered sugar, top with a raspberry and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. YUM!

48 thoughts on “A Lemon Sooful Sit-In {Perfectly Tart Lemon Souffles}

  1. These look really professional, light and delicious 🙂
    Wonderful post!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Healthiest Natural Sugars Muesli Bars

  2. Thank you, Geni, for the recipe and step-by-step instructions. I’ve never attempted a souffle but I do like the sound of this one. I chuckled over how each little tap cost your souffles a millimeter. I can just see mine deflating as I navigate from my kitchen to dining table, “finding” each nonexistent bump in the flooring with my feet along the way. I think I’ll take a picture of them in the oven, just before removal, as proof that the “pancakes” I’m serving were once, in fact, individual souffles.

  3. Oh, even the fallen one looks so beautiful, especially with the raspberry on top! I love that you had company on the floor in front of the stove. I wish there was a picture!

  4. These are gorgeous. You know we actually like when they come around and get the crumbs. But we also really like the bread! I made my first ever souffle this weekend.

  5. Indeed Geni, “You have risen for the occasion”! My souffles always sink too. Hmm. I am sure they tasted just “tart fully” wonderful. (The other day I actually put on a dress and my husband said, (work, funeral or wedding?) I too love my jeans. Take care, BAM

  6. So pretty and delicate! And, I’ve been meaning to make souffles for awhile!

  7. Beautiful Geni! I LOVE souffles; they remind me of this place we used to go to fancy dinners at when I was a kid. You had to order the souffle when you ordered your main course. I thought it was so special (it was). Fabulous job!

  8. Wow, Geni, did these ever turn out beautifully. I have a few lemons left-over and have been dying to try my hand at sou ful souffle (lol). Your instructions give me confidence to try!! I love picturing you all sitting in front of your oven:) xo Smidge

  9. Oh Geni this looks absolutely divine! I’m a major fan of lemon and I will be making these ASAP!!!!! 🙂 I’m certainly not graceful either, so I have no doubt mine my fall a millimeter or three. 😉 (By the way – love the image of you and your daughter and pup sitting in front of the oven.)

  10. The sunken one still looks beautiful and I do love lemon flavor, and love your amusing post. 🙂

  11. I just love the sunny color of these! I’ve never made a souffle, I’m not sure I’m that fancy…but you’ve convinced me to give it a try, as soon as i work up the courage. 🙂

  12. These are so gorgeous! I bet they are so light and tasty.

  13. I think they are lovely – slightly sunken or not.
    🙂 Mandy

  14. I am SO calling them soofuls from now on! Especially after they’ve sunk. When they’re all risen and stuff…they can be souffles. At any point afterwards = soofuls.

    I love that these are so lemony delicious. Perfection!

  15. Hahaha, beautiful new name, like it though, and sure those are were so delicious. Thank you Geni…

  16. Geni, you brighten my day with every post!! I have no idea of what you look like but I could just imagine you, your daughter and dog in the kitchen…floor that is!! These are lovely…perfectly made with love and alot of laughter!!

  17. They look like a complete success to me, Geni! Yay! And I, too, have had moments – sitting on the floor of the kitchen, watching through the oven window. It just adds to the anticipation of the finished product. 🙂 Someday, I’ll be grown up enough to try souffles, too. I hope. 🙂

  18. Brilliant. Lemon is heavenly, and the perfect ending to this fabulous-occasion stupendous meal. Hurray for you! And for the family, of course! 🙂

  19. Love, love, LOVE this post! They are perfect! The fact that you’re casual about everything makes them even better! I like to use dishes and make all kinds of hoity-toity foods, but if you’re eating at my house – even with the linens and china broken out….we’ll be in jeans!

  20. Yum! These look awesome. Even if they did fall a tiny bit, that’s kind of just how it goes isn’t it? I can promise you, if I ever tackled a souffle, it would be inside out by the time it reached the table.

  21. These look amazing! Just for the record though, I was right there with you laughing a bit as you claimed to be unpretentious in the kitchen. Really? It’s a darn good thing you mentioned that chocolate thing or I would have had to out you here and now. 😉

  22. I love that you are casual. Casual people are cool and down to earth! At least you were jeans, I’m in workout clothes most days of the week and it drives my husband crazy. Some days I have my workout clothes on and don’t even workout!
    Your sooful’s look great too! Hope you have a fantastic day!
    Oh, if you ever have crumbs lying around on the floor or table, give me a call my 2 year old is into eating food off the table! lol

  23. Hi Geni….I’m finally home and have the time to catch up with my friends in the blog-o-sphere.

    I’m a huge sucker for souffles (specifically hazelnut) but have strangely never had a lemon. I’m going to have to rectify that soon. 🙂

  24. I’ve yet to try making a souffle. But now that I know I can make a LEMON souffle…I’m gonna have to change that. I always see recipes for chocolate souffles, and you know my aversion to chocolate. So, that never works out quite well. Yours turned out so puffy and beautiful! They rose!! haha I probably would have shouted the same thing.

  25. I have been such a chicken about making souffles. You have a beautiful blog and I love to bake as well. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  26. Oh, I just love lemon AND souffles! These look amazing Geni 🙂

  27. Yum! I started salivating when I looked at the first photo. You know the kind you get when you expect a bite of something sour or tart? GREAT photo! 🙂

    I want to try these soon. I’ve got a big bowl of lemons calling for this.

  28. Oh, I am SO trying these!! teehee teehee!! I love a good challenge!! I bet mine are gonna fall more than that!!! Ahahahaha…that’s okay, though, I’m gonna have fun. I’ll be sure to post about it when I do it and link to your post!!! =) Thanks for sharing.

  29. I’m in love. I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love. I really can’t so anymore than that because I truly do love this recipe. Can’t wait to make this

  30. How pretty these souffles! Well done!

  31. They look fantastic, Geni! I love them, fallen or not. I love lemon souffles! Martha also had another recipe for lemon custard cups, also good and you don’t have to be so graceful, LOL! I can honestly tell you if I made souffle they’d have be called SouFLAT!

  32. Lemon Souffle- now that is genius! i love this idea and the pretty lemon color and I can only imagine how fresh and delicious it tastes

  33. Wow thats a perfectly looking souffle, I had to make one of those soon

  34. Seems so lovely and so delicious dear Geni! You are amazing. Thank you have a nice week, with my love, nia

  35. Aaahh lemon souffles… why didn’t I think of it. I love souffles, and lemon would make them taste even lighter and “springy”. Nice job.

  36. I love all things lemon and your soufflés look fantastic!

  37. This is one dessert I have wanted to try for a long time now. It look light & delicious.

  38. These look lovely and delicious!!

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