From America's Test Kitchen Season 10: Sensational Skillet Recipes
Having taken the mystique out of soufflé making and even developing a recipe for making soufflés ahead of time, we wondered if we could take our expertise one step further. If we could make a soufflé in a skillet, we would guarantee that this great dessert was in the realm of everyday cooking.
We theorized that the heat on the stovetop would activate the batter and ensure an even rise from the egg whites. To determine what to use for the soufflé base, we pitted the bases used in our other soufflés—béchamel and bouillie—against a simpler base of whipped egg yolks. All tasted fine, but the whipped egg yolks were so much less complicated that we decided to start there. A little flour added to the yolks kept the soufflé creamy rather than foamy. We decided that lemon would be the best flavoring, since it would shine through the eggy base well; lemon juice and zest provided bright, natural citrus flavor. We beat the egg whites separately, adding sugar partway through, folded them into the egg-lemon base, and poured the mixture into a buttered ovensafe skillet. After a few minutes on the stovetop the soufflé was just set around the edges and on the bottom (and the crust that eventually formed on the bottom was a bonus our tasters applauded), so we moved the skillet to the oven to finish. A few minutes later our soufflé was puffed, golden on top, and creamy in the middle—a successful transformation from fussy to easy.
Don’t open the oven door during the first seven minutes of baking, but do check the soufflé regularly for doneness during the final few minutes in the oven. Be ready to serve the soufflé immediately after removing it from the oven. A 10-inch skillet is essential to getting the right texture and height.