Kaiserschmarrn - Strawberry Pan Souffle Dessert Recipe  Recipe
Kaiserschmarrn - Strawberry Pan Souffle Dessert Recipe

by Wolfgang Puck

A Special Treat For the Queen of the House

With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, chances are you've been thinking about something wonderful to do for Mom. In addition to the inevitable flowers, gifts, and cards, please allow me to suggest that you also cook something for her that will officially declare her the ruler of your household.

That's easy to do with the help of one of my favorite childhood dishes, Kaiserschmarrn. (The name literally means "emperor's mishmash," so I guess for Mother's Day we should rename it "Kaiserinschmarrn," for the empress.)

The recipe gets its royal lineage because, according to legend, it was first prepared more than a century ago for Austrian Emperor Franz Josef. When presented with it, he wondered aloud what sort of mishmash had been cooked up for him.

Royally rich in flavor and texture, the souffle-like dessert comes by the more casual part of its name thanks to its presentation. After baking, it is casually spooned in uneven chunks onto the serving plates, often over a sauce or compote of lightly cooked and sweetened fresh fruit.

Don't be concerned over Kaiserschmarrn's relationship to souffles, because this dessert is in fact incredibly easy to prepare. Yes, it is light and puffy thanks to beaten egg whites that are folded into an egg yolk base. But you don't have to tiptoe around your kitchen while it cooks, since the mixture is spread out in shallow pans for baking like a fluffy pancake rather than having to climb high up the sides of souffle dishes.

Even better for a Mother's Day celebration, you can do much of the preparation in advance. The egg yolk base and the strawberry sauce can both be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. You can even fold in the egg whites and spoon the mixture into its cooking pans an hour or two ahead, keeping them covered in the refrigerator until baking time.

Speaking of the berries, don't be limited by what the recipe calls for. You can substitute raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries for the strawberries. Your favorite chunky applesauce recipe would be delicious, too. Later in the summer, try it with juicy plums, apricots, or peaches. You can also replace the rum in the base mixture with your favorite liqueur, and the raisins with other dried fruit, cut to raisin size.

One of the ideal times to serve this is for dessert at a Mother's Day brunch or dinner. But, eggy as it is, the recipe would also make a spectacular breakfast all on its own accompanied by coffee or tea.

Whenever you serve it, just be sure to tell Mom the story behind the recipe, letting her know that she's being treated like a queen.

Strawberry Pan Souffle (Kaiserschmarrn) Dessert Recipe

Serves 6

4 large cage-free egg yolks

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 cup creme fraiche

2 tablespoons dark rum

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

2 tablespoons golden raisins, plumped in warm water for 10 minutes, well-drained

Softened unsalted butter, for greasing

3 large cage-free egg whites

Strawberry Sauce (recipe follows)

1 pound ripe, organic strawberries, hulled and sliced

First, prepare the souffle base up to 1 day in advance. Put the egg yolks and 6 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk or a hand-held electric mixer until smooth and pale yellow in color. Whisk in the creme fraiche and rum until smooth. Hold a fine-meshed sieve over the bowl, spoon the flour into it, and tap the rim to sift it in, and then stir in the flour. Stir in the raisins. If not using immediately, cover the bowl and refrigerate.

Before cooking the dessert, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch ovenproof saute pans or shallow baking dishes with butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Set aside. Remove the bowl of egg yolk base from the refrigerator.

In a separate, clean mixing bowl and using the clean beaters of a hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they form soft, slightly drooping peaks when the beaters are lifted out. Still beating, slowly pour in the remaining sugar, and continue beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted out.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Stop when the whites are fully incorporated but a few streaks still remain. With a large spoon, divided the mixture evenly between the 2 prepared pans. Sprinkle the surface evenly with a little more sugar.

Put both pans in the oven and bake until puffy and golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently reheat the Strawberry Sauce if you have made it in advance. Add the fresh strawberry slices to the warm sauce and toss gently until thoroughly coated.

To serve, divide the sauce and berries evenly among 6 serving plates or shallow bowls. With a spatula or large serving spoon, dish up the souffle in large, irregular chunks, placing them on top of the berries. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Sauce Recipe

Makes about 1-1/2 cups (375 ml)

1/2 pound ripe, organic strawberries, hulled

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons sugar

Juice of 1/2 orange

1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 piece whole star anise

Put the berries, wine, sugar, orange juice and zest, lemon juice, and star anise in a medium saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently; then, reduce the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.

With a spoon, remove and discard the star anise. Transfer the rest of the mixture to a blender. Pulse the machine until the mixture is smoothly pureed, taking care to avoid spattering. Pour through a fine-meshed strainer into a nonreactive bowl. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

 

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