James Carrier
Makes 6 servings

How to Make It

Step 1

Coat interior of a 10- to 11-cup soufflé dish with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter. Add parmesan cheese; tilt dish to coat.

Step 2

Separate eggs; put yolks in a small bowl and all whites in a large mixer bowl. Add cream of tartar to whites.

Step 3

Melt remaining butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until bubbling.

Step 4

Remove from heat. Whisk milk into the mixture. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and ground nutmeg. Return to high heat and stir until mixture boils, about 2 minutes; sauce will be very thick. Set aside about 2 tablespoons gruyère cheese, then add remainder to sauce and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Dump in egg yolks and mix well.

Step 5

With a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites just until they hold soft but distinct peaks. Put a big spoonful of whites into the sauce and mix well.

Step 6

Scrape sauce into whites, and with a flexible spatula, fold ingredients together; the mixture can look streaky.

Step 7

Scrape mixture into soufflé dish. With the tip of the spatula, draw a circle on top of the soufflé, then sprinkle with reserved gruyère cheese.

Step 8

Set on the center rack of a 400° oven. Bake until browned and center jiggles slightly when dish is gently shaken (for a saucy soufflé), about 25 minutes, or for a drier soufflé, about 10 minutes more. Serve at once.

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