The Herbfarm: Pumpkin Bay Soufflé with Orange-Thyme Custard Sauce

In this Herbfarm dessert, the warm flavors of bay laurel and pumpkin meld with a bright citrus sauce.

| January/February 2005

  • What began as a six-course lunch offered by Rob Zimmerman and his wife, Carrie Van Dyck, at their nursery has become one of the Pacific Northwest's most popular—and charming—restaurants, the Herbfarm.
    Photo By Chris Eden
  • The bright, warm flavors of pumpkin, orange and thyme are both stimulating and comforting.
    Photo By John Granzen

Pumpkin Bay Soufflé with Orange-Thyme Custard Sauce
Serves 8 

In this Herbfarm dessert, the warm flavors of bay laurel and pumpkin meld with a bright citrus sauce.

Pumpkin Bay Soufflé:

Soft butter and sugar for preparing the ramekins
1 1/2 cups milk
8 fresh bay laurel leaves (not California Bay), or substitute two 3-inch sprigs rosemary
1/2 vanilla bean, split
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar, divided
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pumpkin purée (if using fresh pumpkin, drain overnight in a strainer lined with cheesecloth)
8 large egg whites

1. Generously butter interiors of eight 6-ounce ramekins and coat with sugar. Arrange in a shallow baking dish.

2. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lightly crushed bay leaves and vanilla bean; cover and steep off heat for 20 minutes. Strain milk and return to pan.

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