Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Prune Souffle!

I am irresistably drawn to prune recipes. Not so much the savory, but the sweet.

This one is brought to you by Helen Hill Miller, who was president of the Women's National Press Club at the time the cook book was produced.

My cooking life started late. After college, when I went to work, I lived at a club. After marriage, when I went to Geneva, we lived at a hotel. On returning to the United States, I found Emma Smith, who lived with us for seventeen years. After Emma retired, I had to put my shoulder to the can opener. (Note to beginners: a hand is better.) My performance is spotty. But I can make a superb souffle, from an old family recipe.
Prune Souffle
1/2 cup prunes, cooked until soft, pits out
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
Whites of 5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Whipped cream plus sugar and vanilla--be as generous as you like

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat prunes and cream of tartar together until very smooth; stir in sugar. Beat egg whites stiff. Fold egg whites into prune mixture. Pour into baking dish, preferably a pretty one, since it's going straight to the table from the oven.

Bake half an hour in the moderate oven (without opening door to see how things are coming). Prepare bowl of whipped cream, adding spot of vanilla, dash of sugar and put in ice box.

Disregard all social amenities when the half-hour is up. Serve the souffle then, whether guests or family are ready or not.

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