This is a very traditional French dessert which can be called “floating island”. It is one of my favourites and a welcome change from the more common pavlova, meringue roulade and Italian meringues. A must try!
- 4 eggs separated
- 160 g 80g + 80g caster sugar
- 750 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 25 g flaked almonds
- In a wide saucepan, pour in the milk and vanilla paste. Bring to low simmer or just warm. Keep covered.
- In the meantime, In a bowl using a pastry food mixer or a whisk, beat the egg white and slowly beating in the 80g of caster sugar until stiff meringue. Remove from the machine and turn the heat back on low under the milk to poach the meringues.
- Prepare a plate or dish to store the poached meringues.
- Once, the milk is simmering very gently, spoon or quenelle, a few at the time, some meringue in the saucepan.
- Cook for 1 minute or so then turn the meringue in the milk to ensure the meringues are poached on both side. After 2-3 minutes, remove from the heat and transfer the poached meringue on a prepare plate. Continue to poach of the meringue until 4 portions are prepared. ( I like to have 5 or 6 and choose the best quenelles! ) store covered in the fridge until needed.
- Once the meringues are poached, prepare the custard using the warm milk.
- In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar (80g) until combined and smooth. Pour over the simmering milk and stir to combine. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over low heat, for 1 to 3 minutes until just set or coating the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Be careful not to overcook the custard, it will continue to cook and set once removed from the heat! Pass through a sieve to catch any lumps if needed.
- Once cooled, serve the custard in serving bowls and place the poached meringues over to ‘float’.
- Decorate with flaked almond or if you are adventurous some caramel sauce or spun sugar!