This simple soufflé recipe by James Martin makes a French classic easy to make - but the real hero of this dish is the red wine poached pears!


  • 100g caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod, seeded with the seeds put to one side

  • 3 pears, peeled

  • 1 bottle of St. Emilion wine (or a good burgundy) (for poaching, and for the syrup)

  • 100g caster sugar (for the syrup)

  • Soufflé:

  • A knob of butter, to line dish

  • 1 tbs caster sugar

  • 4 egg whites

  • 120ml readymade custard

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 vanilla

  • Flaked almonds

  • To serve: Vanilla ice cream


  • 1.

    Flatten the base of the pears by cutting off and removing the core with a melon baller.

  • 2.

    Cover in St. Emilion wine, caster sugar, vanilla seeds and the vanilla pod. Poach for 15-20 minutes and leave in the syrup in a sterilised jar for 48 hours.

  • 3.

    Line the moulds with butter and sugar.

  • 4.

    To make the soufflé, whisk the egg whites until firm. Fold into the custard in a large bowl.

  • 5.

    Grease the ramekins with butter and coat in caster sugar. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins and place a few flaked almonds on top. Cook for 10 mins.

  • 6.

    For the syrup, reduce the wine by adding 100g caster sugar to 100ml wine mixture. Dip the pears in the syrup. To serve, place a scoop of ice cream on the plate with a pear, a drizzle of syrup and the soufflé.

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