Soufflé Garlic Pumpkin

This week I bought a piece of musque de Provence pumpkin at our Friday market, as usual without the slightest idea yet what I was going to do with it. I also happen to have more potatoes stored in my kitchen than I know what to do with and was pondering on the possibilities. This led me to run a scan on my mental recipe database, and I came up with soufflé garlic potatoes, which I once made for guests. Then I decided to actually pass on the potatoes and make soufflé garlic pumpkin as a side dish instead.

The original recipe is from a very old edition of Prima magazine. Apart from substituting the potatoes for pumpkin, I’ve made only minor adaptations: I greased the ramekins with PAM Spray instead of butter, substituted Gruyère cheese for Irish Cheddar (because that’s what I had in the fridge), and crème fraîche for crème légère.

The substitution of potatoes for pumpkins worked really well. The result was a very light and fluffy soufflé. As you can see in the pictures, I used a few mini ramekins (just because I like cute mini stuff, we all know that by now…) and baked the rest of it in a larger pie dish. For the pie dish version I didn’t even use the baking parchment around it, it rose nicely and looked just as it was supposed to look.

Soufflé Garlic Pumpkin

900 g pumpkin, without skin, cut into large pieces
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
150 ml milk
50 g Parmesan, freshly grated
50 g butter, plus greasing
200 ml crème légère
75 g Irish Cheddar
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs, separated

Serves 6

Fill a pot with 750 ml cold water, add the pumpkin pieces, garlic, milk and a generous pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin pieces are tender.

Grease 6 ramekin dishes and sprinkle the base and sides with Parmesan, which will help the soufflés rise. Tie a strip of baking parchment around the ramekins.

Drain pumpkin pieces and garlic, reserving 200 ml of liquid. Mash the pumpkin with the garlic, add the reserved liquid, then season generously. [I used only about half of the reserved liquid as the consistency of my pumpkin mix looked alright. My guess is that due to a firmer consistency of potatoes, more liquid is needed for them.] Stir in butter, crème légère, Cheddar, nutmeg and egg yolks.

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Whisk egg whites until they peak, then fold them into the mashed pumpkin. Spoon mixture into the ramekins and bake for 15 minutes until well risen and golden.