Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 6 free-range egg whites

  2. 1 squeeze lemon juice

  3. 120 g caster sugar

  4. 1 litres full-fat milk , preferably organic

  5. 1 vanilla pod , split in half lengthways, seeds scraped out

  6. 6 free-range egg yolks

  7. 80 g caster sugar ice cubes

  8. 100 ml double cream , very lightly whipped

  9. 100 g caster sugar

  10. 1-2 tbsp amaretto liqueur

  11. 3 tbsp flaked almonds , roughly chopped, to garnish

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Floating islands Method 1. For the meringues: tip the egg whites and lemon juice into a clean mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the sugar a third at a time, whisking after each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  2. Pour the milk into a large, shallow lidded pan and add the vanilla pod and seeds. Bring the milk to the boil then immediately reduce the to low until the milk is just simmering.

  3. Dip 2 tablespoons in boiling water and use to scoop out a spoonful of meringue mixture and shape into a quenelle. Carefully lower the meringue into the simmering milk and repeat with the remaining meringue (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan). Cover the pan with the lid and poach the meringues for 7-10 minutes, carefully turning the meringues over halfway through cooking.

  4. Remove the poached meringues from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a tray until needed. Reserve the poaching milk and keep it hot.

  5. For the custard: whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. Very slowly add the hot milk to the egg yolks, whisking continuously, then return the custard mixture to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

  6. As soon as the custard has thickened, pour it into a large bowl and suspend it over another bowl of ice cubes and iced water to stop it thickening any further. Stir occasionally as the custard cools to prevent a skin forming.

  7. When the custard has cooled, fold through the lightly whipped cream and transfer to a serving bowl. Float the poached meringues on top of the cooled custard, then cover and chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

  8. For the caramel: when ready to serve, half-fill a sink with cold water. Pour 3 tablespoons of water into a heavy-based saucepan and pour in the sugar. Place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Every now and then, carefully swirl the pan to even out the heat and brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystals forming.

  9. Boil for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture has turned to a dark golden-brown caramel then carefully pour in the amaretto (take care as it may bubble and spit).

  10. . Remove from the heat and lower the base of the pan into the sink of cold water for about 30 seconds to stop the caramel cooking further (take care not to get any water into the caramel).

  11. . Whilst the caramel is still runny, very carefully pour it over the floating islands. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and serve immediately.


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