Soufflé omelette de le Mère Poulard
If you know about soufflé omelette you may have heard of the famous 100+ year old recipe from la Mère Poulard in le Mont Saint Michel in France, but what’s the secret? Discover the brief history of the lady and her recipe as we take to the egg copper bowl and start whisking away.
In the time before Paul Bocuse there was an official distinction (la Mere) given to talented lady cooks – “The Mothers of France”. Mère Poulard (Mother Poulard) lived in Mont Saint Michel. She married Victor Poulard, a baker, and they opened a restaurant. The soufflé omelette was a way to feed tourists coming to visit the Abbey between tides without too many complicated recipes/ingredients. You will still see chefs beating the eggs in a copper pot in many little restaurants in Mont Saint Michel.
Note: You will never be able to exactly recreate the way the omelette is truly cooked unless you use a special thick steel pan and a fireplace. Results will vary in a pan on the stove.
For one person:
- 2 top quality large eggs or 3 small ones
- 25 grams salted butter
Cooking time should not exceed 3 minutes and usually the omelette is ready within 2 minutes This is the plain version of the omelette but if you want to serve it with a garnish try the classic from the actual restaurant first. My favourite match is a creamy blue cheese (ideally the French Fourme d’Ambert). If you are in Australia, a creamy Dutch blue or gorgonzola works too.
The omelette can be served with a garnish of:
- Seasonal vegetables.
- Bacon and sauté potatoes.
- Sauté scallops in salted butter
- Smoked salmon and potatoes
Note: The omelette is best made with 2 to 3 eggs maximum, but if you intend to make it for more people do not exceed 5 eggs and make sure to use a large pan (28 cm / 11 inch). You always need plenty of butter and you have to have a really big burner running on the highest heat possible to somehow mimic the effect of the fireplace.
- Break 2 eggs into a large bowl (preferably copper) and break up the yolks.
- Using an electric mixer on a high speed whisk the eggs, swishing the mixer around the bowl whilst it whisks – as much air as possible needs to be incorporated into the beaten eggs.
- Maintain the whisking for about 2 minutes or more until distinct traces are discernable behind the whisk. The mixture will then have reached the desired consistency – it will be very foamy. It will need to be cooked almost immediately before the bubbles start to disappear.
- A thick (aluminium, copper or steel) frying pan should be used for frying – first melt the butter over a high heat and then pour the mixture into the pan and cook for about a minute to get a good colouring on the base of the omelette. On this being reached, swirl the pan over the flame with the intention of cooking all of the edge of the omelette.
- Now and again take the pan off the heat to ensure that the omelette does not burn. After a minute or so of swirling the omelette should be mostly cooked and left off the heat for about 20 seconds to rest.
- Note: it is normal that the top of the omelette won’t be totally cooked through as it is typically served a little foamy.
- Slide the omelette on to a plate and fold one half on top of the other.
Soufflé omelette de la Mère Poulard video recipe: