• 1/3 cup 1/2-inch diced pears or other dried fruit
• 2 tablespoons dark rum
• 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
• Pinch of coarse salt
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
• Powdered sugar in a shaker or fine mesh strainer
Soak the pears in the rum for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack in the centre of the oven.
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl with the salt. Whisk in the milk a tablespoon at a time, to keep the batter smooth.
Whisk in 1 tablespoon of sugar to combine. Whisk in the egg yolks. Drain the pears and add any rum that has not been absorbed by the fruit to the batter.
Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until they foam. Whisk in 1/3 of the remaining sugar until the whites begin to hold a form. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk to hold a bit more of a shape and then whisk in the remaining sugar until the whites are shiny and hold a firmer shape. Do not over whisk the whites, they should be glossy and hold a shape but over-whisking can cause them to break down.
Gently stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to combine and lighten the batter. Fold the remaining whites into the batter.
Place the butter in the Copper-Core 8-inch fry pan over medium high heat until the butter is a rich golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour half the batter into the pan, sprinkle with the pears and top with the remaining batter. Place back over the heat and cook for about 1 minute. The sides will brown slightly, and just begin to set and rise.
Place the fry pan onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes. The surface should be a rich golden brown and firm to the touch. The centre of the soufflé should remain slightly soft.
Dust the top of the soufflé with powdered sugar and serve directly from the pan or invert the soufflé out onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar. Use a spoon and a fork to pull the soufflé apart into irregular pieces and serve immediately.
Chef Thomas Keller's tip
"I love pears most but it works just as well with apricots, cherries, raisins, currants or a combination of dried fruits."