Floating Islands

By Erin McDowell
February 2, 2018
8 Comments


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 2
Erin McDowell

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • CREME ANGLAISE:
  • 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
  • MERINGUES:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • FINISHING
  • 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachios

Directions

  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.

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Reviews (8) Questions (0)

8 Comments

Mihaela P. February 9, 2018
Hi, Erin! What happens to the last bit of milk that you cook the meringue in? Do you add it to the egg yolk mixture too?
 
Author Comment
Erin M. February 9, 2018
That milk is just for poaching the meringues, and isn't used again in the recipe. I usually make a little tea or coffee with it, since it's already warmed up :)
 
Cecília M. February 7, 2018
Is it written 1 1/4 cup sugar? I suppose you meant 1/4, but you should correct it.
 
Author Comment
Erin M. February 7, 2018
Hi there! The amount is correct - you use 1/4 cup in step 1 and the remaining 1 cup in step 2, as written!
 
Cecília M. February 7, 2018
Hi Erin, sorry! So, you mean 2/3 cup milk and cream to 1 1/4 sugar?
 
[email protected] February 7, 2018
Yes indeed! Remember that the egg yolks also act as “liquid” in the final custard so the sugar is to sweeten the whole thing. That said, you could definitely cut the sugar down in this recipe and use 1/2-3/4 cup. Just remember to use about 1/4 of it in step one, then mix the remaining sugar in step 2!
 
Author Comment
Erin M. February 7, 2018
Yes indeed! Remember that the egg yolks also act as “liquid” in the final custard so the sugar is to sweeten the whole thing. That said, you could definitely cut the sugar down in this recipe and use 1/2-3/4 cup. Just remember to use about 1/4 of it in step one, then mix the remaining sugar in step 2!
 
Cecília M. February 7, 2018
Got it! Thanks!