bacon, apple, and gruyère souffles

Souffles have easily become a favorite food group. Well at least a mash-up of food groups. These contain protein (eggs, bacon), dairy (milk, cheese), veggies (onion), and even fruit (apples). Bonus points: it's totally gluten-free!

 

When we found out my youngest sister was malnourished, I thought these souffles would be the perfect way for her to meet her two-egg-a-day requirement. When I asked her how she usually has her eggs, she replied, "Over medium." I might have even caught the tail end of an eye roll as if over medium was in fact the only good way to prepare eggs. But actually, I'd never heard of someone ordering eggs in this way. Over easy? Sure. But over medium? She explained that she doesn't like the yolks runny (I don't know how we are related :-p), and that over medium cooks the yolk all the way through. I sensed a challenge. One morning when she was over at my house, I decided to put my plan into action and combine two of her other loves, apples and bacon, into my new favorite egg dish... cheese souffles.

As luck would have it, I actually had a bacon gruyer... that's right,  a wedge of cheese with bits o bacon... on hand. It was pretty amazing on it's own so I was surprised we had a good portion of it left. The teenager was surprised too. She loves bacon so much  that for her birthday she received bacon socks... And band-aids shaped in little strips of bacon.

And while the idea of a souffle didn't immediately appeal to her, she agreed to try it. As long as it contained bacon. So I set about crisping the bacon, sauteeing the veg and apples, and melting down the cheese.

Then I carefully stirred the ingredients together, added some fresh herbs, and prepared the eggs. The egg process is kind of tricky in that you have to separate the yolks from the whites. You temper the yolks into the cooled cheese mixture. And whisk the whites (with a bit of tarter) until they have nice stiff peaks. Like this:

Some folding happens. Some buttering of dishes happens too, either a large 6 inch deep dish, or 4 to 6 ramekins. After the dishes are gently filled 3/4 of the way full with the souffle batter, they get baked until golden brown and puffy. We enjoyed our souffles on the couch, with pot holders on the coffee table, and oven mitts on our hands. I was eager for her to try it. Side by side we hovered over the souffles and gingerly dipped our spoons into the clouds of  bacon, herbs, and cheese. I really loved the layers of flavors these souffles had. Especially the sweetness from the apples and onions. I thought these gluten-free bacon, apple, and gruyere souffles satisfied the challenge quite well.  But since I can't feed the teenage souffles every day, what are your favorite egg dishes to make for a picky eater? Let me know in the comments!

gluten-free bacon, apple, and gruyère souffles

Recipe Type: brunch
Author: charissa luke
Serves: 4

Adapted from Samantha Seneviratne's leek and bacon souffle recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the baking dish
  • 3 oz bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple (1 small apple)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2.5 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated bacon gruyere
  • 3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large white
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter an 6x6-inch baking dish or 4-6 ramekins.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heated to medium heat, cook the bacon on each side until crispy. With tongs, transfer the bacon to a plate. Add onions and apples to the pan with the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove onions and apples and place in a bowl. Dice bacon when cool and add it to the bowl with the onions and apples. Stir in the thyme and pinch each of salt and pepper.
  3. Poor out any remaining bacon grease. Gently warm the milk in the skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the cream cheese and gruyere and whisk until melted and combined. Add the milk mixture to the onions and bacon and stir to combine. Cool slightly. Gently mix in the egg yolks; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand or stand mixer on high speed to medium-stiff peaks. With a large spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the bacon and onion mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared dish(es) and bake until puffed and golden-brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately—the soufflé will deflate as it cools.

 

Comments

Ok. I'm opening a B&B and this is my first souffle and first gluten free souffle. Here we go!

Awesome! Hope it was a winner!

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