1heaped tablespoon loose leaf teasuch as Earl Grey, green, or matcha
To Prep Ramekins:
Granulated sugaras needed
A couple drops lemon juice
To make the pastry cream: Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and thick, then whisk in the cornstarch.
Add the milk and tea to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Switch off the heat and let the tea steep for a few minutes. Strain the milk into the egg mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
Return the mixture to a clean pot and continuously whisk over medium heat. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom, otherwise it will burn. The cream will start to thicken. Once it has thickened and released a few bubbles, remove it from the heat.
Strain it (to remove any lumps) onto a tray lined with plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap so it sticks directly onto the cream and refrigerate for at least an hour before using. This can be make up to 3 days in advance. This will yield about 1 ½ cups pastry cream, which is exactly how much you will need for the souffles.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush four 3-ounce ramekins with soft butter, working in upward strokes from the bottom to the top (I’m confident that you can yield more than four souffles at this size based on my kitchen math, or plan on using slightly larger ramekins–a 5-ounce ramekin would probably be closest to resulting in four souffles from my experience making these). Check that the entire inside of each dish has been covered with butter before adding a heaped tablespoon of sugar. Roll and tilt each ramekin so that the sugar coats the inside evenly. Repeat with all of the ramekins, reusing the excess sugar from the previous ramekin and adding more as needed.
To make the meringue: Put half the egg whites into a clean glass or metal bowl (one attached to an electric stand mixer is great to save your arm the workout). Add the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and salt and whisk until snow white. Add the rest of the egg whites and continue whisking until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Beat the pastry cream until smooth and then mix in half the meringue until fully incorporated. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue.
Divide the mixture between the ramekins and tap the base of each ramekin on the work surface to ensure there are no air pockets. Level the surface of each souffle by pulling a palette knife (or the back edge of a large knife or an offset spatula) across the top of the dish, then clean any drips off the outside or they will burn. To help the souffles rise, run your thumbnail around the top edge of each ramekin to make a groove.
Put the ramekins into the oven immediately and reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the souffles have risen by two-thirds of their original size and wobble a little when moved. Serve immediately.