When you’re from Louisiana Carrot Soufflé means one thing. Picadilly Cafeteria’s carrot soufflé. Sweet and creamy it’s a dessert-like vegetable side. But it still has redeeming nutritional qualities so I’m posting this version for its many fans. It’s relatively simple and fast and can be made hours ahead of time. Yes, it will fall a bit. No, it will not affect the flavor so you can make it first thing on Thanksgiving and set it aside while you work on other dishes. Just put it in a slow oven for a few before serving and it will be fine.
What’s different? Start with butter
So what are the differences between this recipe and the newspaper versions they print every year? Well, for starters I use butter not margarine, and I add less sugar. Butter is healthier and tastes better so that’s a no-brainer. Less sugar is also a no-brainer since carrots are naturally sweet and don’t need all that much sweetening (except for the couple of teaspoons of Steen’s Cane Syrup which makes it more complex). And the orange zest and orange flower water brighten the flavor. If you don’t have orange flower water you can use juice from the orange.
Add orange rind and juice
However, if you have a home bar and make Ramos Gin Fizzes you should have orange flower water. Check it out before buying. If you’re a Baptist check your secret stash in the garage, the one behind the tackle box, and if you can’t find it ask your teen-aged son. He’ll know.
But back to the prep. You’ll notice that this makes a slightly smaller amount than the typical recipe. There are two reasons for this. It is so sweet that smaller servings are more appropriate and the smaller amount goes into a smaller souffle pan which cooks up and warms up somewhat faster.
Smooth or chunky – your choice
One final word. If you make this in a food processor you can control the level to which it’s puréed. If you like pumpkin pie smooth you can do that, but if you prefer chunkier you can just pulse a few times. Doing it by hand or with a mixer will always result in a coarser consistency. Both taste great so it’s your choice.
Here’s the non-pimped-up version of the soufflé as it will look in real life without its perky little mint Fascinator up top.
- 1.5 lbs. carrots, chopped
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cane or sorghum syrup
- Zest of one medium orange
- 1 tsp. orange flower water (or juice)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 large eggs separated
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Steam or boil carrots until very soft. Let them drain & cool enough until they stop steaming.
- Put in food processor with all other ingredients except egg whites and process until smooth.
- Beat egg whites until very light & frothy but not stiff, two to three minutes.
- Fold into the carrot mixture and pour into a 1.5 quart ungreased baking dish and cook until brown on top about one hour.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
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