Floating islands or Iles Flotantes in French is made of little meringue “islands” floating in crème anglaise and drizzled with caramelized sugar. Recipe ingredients and baking instructions below
Iles Flotantes recipe ingredients:
Meringues & Crème Anglaise
– 2 cups (500 mL) 2% or whole milk, plus extra to top up
– 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla bean paste
– 6 large eggs, separated
– 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, divided
– 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
– 1 splash water
– 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
– ⅓ cup (70 g) granulated sugar
Meringues & Crème Anglaise
1. Pour the milk into a wide saucepan and whisk in the vanilla bean paste. Heat this on medium-low.
2. Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or using electric beaters on high speed until the whites are frothy, and then slowly pour in 2/3 cup (140 g) of the sugar while whipping, and continuing to whip until the whites hold a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted. Fold in the cornstarch.
3. Make sure that the milk is hot, but not showing signs of bubbling at all. Use two large spoons to shape and drop ovals of meringue into the hot milk, leaving space between the meringues. Poach the meringues, uncovered, for 5 minutes in total, and gently flipping them over halfway through cooking. Use a slotted spoon to lift the meringues out to a dish to cool. Continue in batches until all of the meringue has been used, getting 16 meringue portions (2 per person). Chill these until ready to serve.
4. Strain the milk into a fresh medium saucepan (and top up the milk to equal 2 cups/500 mL again) and bring to just below a simmer on medium heat. Whisk the reserved 6 egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining 1/3 cup (70 g) of sugar. Slowly pour the hot milk into the yolks while whisking, until all has been added. Return this to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that it is directly over the surface of the custard. Cool this to room temperature, then chill completely before serving.
5. To serve, ladle spoonfuls of crème anglaise into the bottom of a flat dish and top with 2 meringues and then prepare the caramelized sugar.
1. For the caramelized sugar, add a splash of water and the lemon juice to a small saucepan and then add the sugar. Bring this up to a full boil over high heat without stirring, but occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with water, cooking until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool a moment, and then use a spoon to drizzle the caramelized sugar over the meringues and custard (the chilled sauce & meringue will immediately cool & set the sugar). Serve immediately.
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