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Pumpkin ravioli with sage

Ravioli may be time-consuming to make, but they can be made ahead and stored wrapped in plastic wrap between layers of baking paper in the fridge, ready for the pot; just make sure you dust them with semolina to keep them dry and prevent them from sticking. We've used butternut here - true to its name, it's rich and creamy and will yield the perfect texture for this luxe ravioli.

Prune and Armagnac soufflés


You'll need

200 gm pitted prunes (see note) 200 ml Armagnac For greasing: melted butter For dusting: finely grated dark chocolate (about 30gm) 14 eggwhites 120 gm caster sugar To serve: vanilla bean ice-cream   Soufflé base 60 gm plain flour 90 gm caster sugar 45 gm butter, softened 350 ml milk 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 3 egg yolks

Method

  • 01
  • Combine prunes and Armagnac in a bowl and stand overnight. Drain prunes (discarding excess liquid), then pulse in a food processor until a fine paste forms (makes 240gm).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for soufflé base, combine flour and 70gm sugar in a bowl, then rub in butter with fingers until fine crumbs form, and set aside. Combine milk, remaining sugar and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat, whisk in flour mixture and stir continuously until mixture is thick and flour is cooked out (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, whisk in egg yolks and cool.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Brush the sides of ten 1 cup-capacity ramekins with butter, refrigerate until firm and repeat, dust with grated chocolate, shaking off excess and set aside. Place 400gm soufflé base (there will be a little left over) in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water until warmed (2-3 minutes), add 200gm prune mixture (there will be a little left over) and beat until smooth. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of eggwhites into prune mixture to lighten, then fold through remaining eggwhites. Divide among ramekins and smooth tops with a small palette knife. Clean excess mixture from rim of ramekins and bake until risen and golden (8-10 minutes). Serve immediately with vanilla bean ice-cream.
Note Use the best prunes you can find. Look for the very moist ones. Alistair uses prunes d'Agen, a professional pâtisserie product.

Soufflés are the bane of many pastry cooks' lives. Up until I got hold of this recipe from L'Arpège, it was for me, too. This recipe saved me many times. I love it and will testify to its success. Dusting the ramekin with grated chocolate instead of sugar gives extra flavour without unnecessary sweetness. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. - Alistair Wise

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

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