Floating Islands

February  2, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

This is one of my favorite desserts of all time. It’s made of a few fancy-sounding components, but it’s super easy to create, and great for just two people. It’s the perfect not-too-sweet dessert, a combination of fancy and effortless.

Featured In: Giant Chocolate Bar, Tiny Cream Pie, And 2 Even Easier Desserts for 2Erin Jeanne McDowell

  • Serves 2
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachios
In This Recipe
  1. Make the crème anglaise: in a small pot, bring the milk, cream, salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla bean to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. When it simmers, whisk the remaining sugar and egg yolks together in a medium heat-safe bowl.
  3. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot, whisking well to combine. Continue to heat over medium low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir constantly.
  4. Strain the sauce and chill in the refrigerator until nicely cold. Meanwhile, make the meringues.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat to stiff peaks.
  6. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pot. Drop scoops of meringue (about 2-3 heaping tablespoons in size) into the hot milk and poach until fully cooked, 2-3 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon.
  7. To serve, warm the jam to loosen it. Divide the crème anglaise between two bowls. Drizzle the jam over the sauce and swirl lightly to combine.
  8. Place the meringues on top of the sauce, and garnish with raspberries and pistachios. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.