Savory Pear, Sweet Potato, and Maple Syrup Soufflé

September 12, 2011
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is a very versatile recipe. I make this kind of soufflé also with butternut squash or pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes, and with apples, apricots, or peaches instead of pears. The flavoring for the puree can be also in other combinations: orange-ginger or lime-cayenne. You can use different herbs, such as mint, marjoram, parsley, or cilantro and bake the soufflé in 3/4-cup ramekins.

For orange-ginger flavoring: Add 1/4 cup each milk and orange juice, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger.
For lime-cayenne flavor: Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and a large pinch of cayenne. —Kukla

Test Kitchen Notes

The flavor in this soufflé certainly raises the bar well above the ones I’ve had the pleasure of meeting thus far, and sets it pretty high for those in my future. The sweet potato, pear, and maple syrup play off each other like the yellows, reds, and oranges of an autumn drive through New England. I do think the recipe could do with an additional egg white or two to help lift the weighty base a little further out of the dish - cheese1227 —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • For the Soufflé base
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, hot
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese for the baking dish
  • 4 extra-large eggs, separated + 1 more egg white
  • For the Pear and Sweet Potato Puree
  • 4 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil; cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pears; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just golden, 12 to 20 minutes. Pour in maple syrup; cook, stirring, until pears are coated and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Puree the potatoes and pears in food processor, transfer to a bowl, set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F degrees. Butter a soufflé baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and the sides with Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  6. Gradually whisk in milk; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in Gruyere cheese and 1 teaspoon salt.
  7. Whisk in sweet potato and pear puree, orange zest, and then egg yolks, one at a time. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  8. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into cheese, sweet potato, and pear mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest.
  9. Place soufflé baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour in mixture, smooth out the top. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately with more butter and Maple Syrup.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dressage101
  • Kukla

4 Reviews

dressage101 December 6, 2011
I stuck with the amount of egg whites in the recipe and it was light and fluffy.
Kukla December 6, 2011
Thank you for answering dressage101.
dressage101 December 6, 2011
I used Stark Crimson pears because they were local and skipped the orange zest because I don't care for the flavor. Also, I added tarragon because I happened to need to trim it in my garden...definitely a good addition. This recipe was incredible. Made it for my housemate's birthday party and it was a hit all around. The only thing I'd recommend is slightly more cooking time, mine took about an hr to be ready. If you think oh man pear, that doesnt sound like a good match, think again. The flavors in this dish blend really well and the whole is most definitely greater than the sum of the parts. A perfect 'locavore' fall food.
Kukla December 6, 2011
Thank for your nice comment dressage101! I am glad you liked the soufflé and will try your addition of tarragon. About the baking time: My oven is pretty hot and as you can see on the photo it even started to crack, that is why I baked it only for about 40 minutes. I just would like to know, did you add 2 more egg whites as cheese1227 recommended? Thanks’ again and Happy Holidays!!!