Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Floating Islands

A while back, Prudence Pennywise and others made Floating Islands for Tuesdays with Dorrie. I don't participate, because I've never been much good at taking directions, but I did tuck the idea into the back of my head. Since my dearly beloved greatly enjoys meringue, I thought I'd give this a whirl. With recipes and guidelines from Fannie Farmer, I came up with this lovely offering! And, remember, this is pretty easy; made ahead and assembled at dessert time, it was a hit in my little corner of the world.


"Ocean" (Creme Anglaise)

3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract


2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

To make the ocean, first prepare the Creme Anglaise (also known as Sauce Anglaise). Scald 2 cups milk in the microwave. Beat 3 eggs in the top of a double boiler with the sugar. Slowly add the hot milk, while stirring, and then sprinkle in the salt. Cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the sauce thickens so it coats the back of the spoon (it will never be as thick as custard). Stir in the vanilla extract (or sherry or brandy, if you so desire), place plastic wrap on the surface of the Creme, and chill for a couple of hours (or overnight).

To make the islands, whip the egg whites, sugar and vanilla until very stiff. Heat the milk to a low boil in a small saucepan. Scoop large spoonsful of the meringue out of the mixing bowl (about the size of a whole egg, or larger), and cook by poaching in the simmering milk for about 3 minutes, turning once. You'll only be able to cook one piece at a time. Place on a plate, and cool to room temperature; the islands will deflate very quickly.

For my dessert sauce, I simply put about 1/2 cup thawed strawberries (left from last summer's expedition) in the blender with 2 tbsp of sugar, whirled vigorously until it liquified, and chilled it until ready to use.
To serve, spoon Creme Anglaise into a serving bowl, and float an island in it. Drizzle a dessert sauce over the island, and serve. It was a perfect anniversary dessert, and would be great after a nice meal for adults, or holiday dinner. And, Paula, your little one can eat it, too!


Tatersmama said...

These are soooo delicious! My mom used to make them as a company dessert all the time when I was a kid!!

Unknown said...

I love how not only do you make dessert every night you always, always let Paula know if it's safe for her kids. What a good friend. g

Anonymous said...

These have become big. I need to serve these. You've inspired me.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had those before.

Paula said...

Marjie, Your desserts always look so pretty on your china plates! I bet this was a perfect anniversary dessert (please tell me you ate some!)I know my littlest meringue eater would be floating on a cloud if this were placed in front of her. You know what I really like about this, besides that it looks so light and creamy? I love the strawberry sauce you put on top! YUM! Thanks for thinking of us, as you always do!

Faye Lewis said...

I've won a few things, but I can just visualize myself winning a state of the art sewing machine. I'm going to keep on dreaming (lol).

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

I remember the posts about these but you make it seem such uch easier to make. I am drooling and have to try these!

Pam said...

Now that's a dessert. I love the strawberry sauce on top - it looks fantastic Marjie.

buffalodick said...

"Elegant" is the word for that!

Jan said...

Mmmm! That looks delish, Marjie.