Prep 15 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Mother and I loved to dine at Neiman Marcus' Zodiac Rooms until just before here death - I would move from menu item to menu item through the years, but Mother always had the salad luncheon platter and never waivered - it may have changed over the years, tuna or shrimp or chicken salad, etc... but one thing that never was never altered was the Mandarin Orange Souffle - "the number one 'ladies lunch' item throughout the country. The "cooking time" here refers to cooling time - a lovely cool molded addition to any luncheon.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the orange juice into a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over, and stir to dissolve.
- Seat aside to let the gelatin soften.
- Prepare and ice bath in a large bowl.
- Pour the remaining orange juice into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir in the sugar and egg yolks.
- Over medium heat, gradually bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to steam and is slightly thickened. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Add the softened gelatin mixture (which will have a rubbery texture) and the lemon juice.
- Stir until incorporated and then transfer the "custard" to a clean mixing bowl; sit the bowl in the ice bath to cool.
- While the custard is cooking, stir it occasionally.
- Using a wire whisk or an electric whisk, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- With a spatula, gently fold some of the whipped cream into the cooled custard mixture to "loosen" it, then add the rest of the cream mixture and fold in until fully incorporated.
- Place three or four of the mandarin orange sections in the bottom of six individual 5-ounce fluted plastic dessert molds and then fill the molds with the orange souffle mixture.
- Place the molds on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight, until firm.
- Carefully unmold.
I recently had lunch at the Neiman Marcus Cafe and enjoyed this souffle so much. I was delighted when I discovered the recipe on Food.com. I have my Mother's old aluminum molds, so my souffle looked similar and tastes rich and decadent like the cafe. The time required to make this dish is well worth the end result. This recipe is a keeper!