Place the lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the juice. Set aside for 5 min., then place the bowl in a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin has dissolved. Cool slightly, then stir the gelatin mixture into the egg yolk mixture. (Or, you can heat the lemon juice and gelatin in a microwave, on full power, in
30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until gelatin is fully dissolved. Be careful, however, not to boil the mixture all over the microwave.)
In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold gently into the egg yolk mixture and set aside.
Whisk or beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining superfine sugar until whites are stiff and glossy. Quickly but lightly fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour into the prepared dish, smooth the surface and chill the souffle’ for 4 to 5 hours.
To make the almond topping, brush a baking pan lightly with oil. Preheat the oven broiler. Sprinkle the almonds onto the baking pan and sift the powdered sugar over them. Place under broiler and the nuts turn a rich golden color and the sugar has caramelized. BE VERY
WATCHFUL OR THEY’LL BURN! Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove mixture from the pan with a metal spatula and break it into pieces.
When the souffle has set, carefully peel off the paper collar. If it does not come off easily, hold the blade of a knife against the souffle to help it keep its shape as you peel away the paper. Sprinkle the caramelized almonds over the top before serving. Serves 6.
Note: You can turn this into a lime souffle by using the zest and rind of 5 limes. And, if you put the undecorated souffle in the freezer for about an hour, then take out, decorate and serve, it’s a wonderful semi-frozen dessert for a hot summer evening, if we ever get any.
Here’s a delicious lemony chicken soup recipe that you can alter a bit if you want it even lighter and more lemony.
LEMONY CHICKEN SOUP
1-2 lemons (see note)
2 chicken breasts, with skin and bones
2 ¾ cups chicken broth
10 snow pea pods
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. flour
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. minced fresh parsley or cilantro
Cut a 2-inch strip of zest from the lemon and squeeze a teaspoon of juice into a small bowl.
In a small saucepan, simmer the chicken breasts and zest in the chicken broth, covered, for
20 min. or until chicken is cooked. Transfer chicken to a bowl and pour the broth through a sieve into a bowl. Chill the chicken until cool.
Trim the pea pods and slice diagonally into thin slivers.
In a 2 qt. saucepan, melt the butter until it foams. When foaming subsides, stir in the flour to make a roux. Stir and cook the roux for 2 min., then add the chicken broth and the cream in a stream, whisking as you add. Simmer the mixture, whisking, until the soup is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and bones. Cut into thin strips. Add to the soup along with the pea pods, return to heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 min. or until the pea pods are just crisp tender. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, sprinkled with minced parsley. Serves 2 (or 4, if you serve it in a cup).
Note: If you wish to make this lighter, use more broth, double the lemon juice and skip the cream. It looks lovely with very thin slices of lemon floating on top.