Ile Flottante

In need of lightness, then Une Ile Flottante might be the answer. Fluffy soft egg white floating on a pool of light vanilla custard. Shall I go on, all right then, pay attention, here come the history lesson, the personal bit and the recipe.

Ile flottante is a very popular French dessert, universally served in canteens, bistros and restaurants chics. A classic dish of unknown origins (so much for the history bit) which requires only a few basic ingredients. Had my mother known that it is low in calories, she would have made me eat ile flottante for breakfast which is not a good option anyway. So at this stage, I should not be complaining about my mum's poor cooking abilities though she can burn water like nobody else does.

You will need to poach egg whites and make a light and full of flagrance custard from scratch or from the "packet," the latter is advised, life is too short and remember : "lightness" goes for lightness of preparation too. Then you need to assemble: eggs on top of custard. Et voila, Tonton Bob.

Ile Flottante

for the Islands
4egg whites
enough water or milk to poach the egg whites
3 tablespoon of sugar
good quality vanilla pods
Use a ready mix custard powder or make it from scratch here is Delia's recipe

Make the 'islands':

Beat the egg whites to  firm peaks, using the food processor or a clean dry bowl and a whisk, add 3 tablespoon of sugar slowly when the eggs are almost firm.

Boil water or milk, drop big dollops of egg white in, leave for 2 minutes, fish them out and let them to cool on plate. No fridge, they need to be served at room temperature

Make the custard
using the instructions on the packet or Delia's recipe bare in mind that you need a light custard flavoured with vanilla served warm


Put the custard in deep plates or soup bowls and float the egg white on the top. If you want something snazzy dribble caramel and add decoration.


Unknown said...

I adore iles flottantes, it's my favourite dessert in France. I like mine in tall glasses served icy cold with plenty of syrup!

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

ooouuh syrup, that is an nice idea, thanks.

One man and his hob said...

That does look rather lovely.soft meringues with proper custard. think i will try this at the weekend

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Hey, now you have to.....I have twitted it.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Ile flottante is such a comforting dessert - just pure pleasure. No trip to France is complete without at least one ile flottante. I don't make it often enough at home.



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