Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Farewell to Peaches and Souffles at Last!

I think that the title of this post pretty much says it all. Alas, recently when I was at the grower's market, I was told that it would be the last time I could buy peaches from my favorite vendor. The absence of peaches for me is really one of the only downsides of autumn in terms of produce availability ( I have already exclaimed about them enough). So naturally I had to find a way to make these golden beauties memorable.

It is about time that I made souffles, don't you think? So here you have it- Peach Sunlight Souffles-the perfect way to showcase the last peaches of the season. Ironically, considering the name of my blog, this was the first time I have ever made souffles. But I guess I got lucky, because they turned out just as they were supposed to- airy, light and tasty :)

I used a recipe from a fantastic cookbook called Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe. She gives lots if tips for making souffles, one of which is using the freshest eggs possible. I am lucky to have two hens- Persephone and Ophelia- for this matter :) My goal is to make at least one souffle a month (I am already excited about the kind I am planning on making in October!)

Lately I have really cherished being able to spend time outside in nature, riding my bike or just walking along the ditch banks. Every day I get to see the changes taking place. I am alarmed at how quickly summer flew by, but I love autumn so much that it is hard for me to not accept its arrival with open arms.

In the cool dawning of the day I pass patches of blue morning glories, apple groves of trees heavy with burgundy fruit and pyracantha bushes with their bright orange berries. Fallen leaves skim the surface of the water in the ditch and raccoon tracks are evident in the dark clay. Deep red creepers climb the tallest cottonwood trees, up into the branches where the woodpecker is hammering away. The slightest bit of sunny yellow shows on the tips of the cottonwood leaves.

I realize how lucky I am to be able to experience these little lovely things. As I am working, through the open window I hear the Canada Geese flying overhead, and I know it will not be long before the elegant Sandhill Cranes arrive to spend the winter. At night there is a crisp new freshness to the air. I feel it would not be right not to acknowledge these changes, as they only happen once between the passing of seasons.

Peach Sunlight Souffles
makes 4 individual souffles or a single souffle in a 1 1/2- quart dish

Nonstick spray
2 cups ricotta
6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons Jeanne's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (see Lavender Peach Crostada post)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 medium-sized ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a 1 1/2- quart souffle dish or 4 ramekins with nonstick spray.
2. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and add the egg yolks, extracts, flour blend, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Whisk together until fluffy and smooth.
3. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks that don't fall over when the whisk or beaters are lifted and just a little liquid is left in the bottom of the bowl.
4. Fold the beaten whites into the ricotta mixture until they are mostly incorporated. The mixture will not be uniform- there will be little puffs of "cloud" here and there- and that is fine. (It is best not to over fold, as this will deflate the egg whites.) Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish or dishes.
5. Toss together the peach slices and the lemon juice, then arrange the peaches in a design on top of the souffle.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for 25-45 minutes (depending on if you used a single dish or 4 smaller ramekins) or until the souffle seems solid when you gently shake the dish. Serve immediately.

Recipe slightly adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe


  1. Hi Lauren!

    I too am a gluten free baker and love seeing the creative dishes you are coming up with. I live on the east coast, right near Boston, so hello from the other side of the country!

    The mindfulness you express in your post is strong and inspiring. It is so peace giving. I appreciate your observation of all the things going on around you whether big or small. Thanks for sharing about your summer-autumn transition. The photos add to it all the more. By the way, what kind of bird is that---the blue one perched on the fence?

    Glad you are sharing.

    1. Thank you for the very kind, thoughtful comment! It is great to hear from you. I have never been able to visit the Northeast before, but I have always wanted to visit Massachusetts in particular!

      I am lucky that New Mexico is such a great place for bird spotting. I believe that the bird I snapped a photo of is a Blue Grosbeak. It was actually the first time I have ever seen one.

      Thanks again for following my blog.