Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is the traditional and elegant French dessert called “Floating Islands" or "Îles Flottantes".
A classic French comfort food, floating islands (or îles flottantes) are meringues poached in custard or milk and topped with a caramel sauce. It is a popular French childhood dessert that often brings back sweet memories and is considered to be a real treat. Floating islands are also known as "oeufs à la neige" in French or "Schnee- Eier" in German (which in turn means "snow eggs").
This is a dreamy kind of dessert that requires a few different steps before it can be enjoyed. I started with the vanilla custard sauce that contains nothing but egg yolks, sugar, milk, some cream and the scraped seeds of a vanilla bean. Then I made the caramel sauce with sugar, water, butter and lemon juice. The third step was the meringue that following Dorie´s recipe contains six egg whites, a pinch of sea salt, sugar and more vanilla (I used vanilla bean seeds again).
Then you can either poach the meringues in milk with sugar or bake them in a water filled baking dish - I chose to fill the bottoms of eight oven-proof ramekins with the caramel sauce, filled the dishes to the rim with the meringue, placed the dishes in a water bath and baked them in the oven for a good twenty minutes. Of course, if you poach the meringues, they will look more like "oeufs à la neige" or "snow eggs" and if you bake them, they will look more like "îles" or "islands".
Some of my dreamy islands were served in a generous pool of that homemade vanilla custard sauce, some were served just as is with some added caramel sauce - they were gone before I had a chance to explain why I had been in the kitchen for so long preparing this very French dessert...
Well, at least now I have a bit of routine preparing these and it will hopefully not take me that long next time, good, because I am planning on making these again.
To take a look at some more floating islands, or snow eggs or baked meringues that were prepared by the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group, please click here.