Îles flottantes with marsala and roasted rhubarb
- April 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 25-30 min
This traditional French recipe consists of smooth vanilla custard topped with fluffy ‘floating islands’ of meringue, baked rhubarb and crumbled amaretti biscuits. Bliss.
- 40.8g (23.9g saturated)
- 50.7g (50.2g sugars)
- 400g rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces
- 30g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Finely grated zest 1 orange
- Juice ½ lemon
- 4 large free-range egg yolks, plus 3 whites
- 240g caster sugar
- 700ml gold top full-fat milk (we used milk from the Channel Islands, from Tesco or Asda)
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out and reserved
- 3 tbsp marsala
- 30g amaretti biscuits, crumbled
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Put the rhubarb into an ovenproof dish with the brown sugar, ground ginger, orange zest and lemon juice, then bake for 25-30 minutes until soft, turning once. Put into a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Put the egg whites into a large spotlessly clean mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, whisk until the mix forms stiff peaks when the beaters are removed. Add 170g of the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking back to stiff peaks between each addition.
- Put the milk into a medium lidded saucepan, then heat gently until just steaming. You’ll probably need to cook the meringue in three batches: spoon 4 large spoonfuls of meringue into the milk, put the lid on and poach for 3 minutes. When ready, lift the lid and check that the meringues have firmed up. Carefully lift them out with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with two more batches to make 12 poached meringue islands. Reserve the milk.
- Add the vanilla pod and seeds to the reserved milk along with 35g of the caster sugar. Heat gently and stir to melt the sugar.
- Put the egg yolks into a small heatproof mixing bowl with another 35g caster sugar and whisk until pale. Pour a third of the warm milk into the bowl, whisking, then pour the contents of the bowl back into the pan of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 12-15 minutes or until the mixture can coat the back of the spoon. Pour into a heatproof bowl and stir in the marsala.
- Pour the warm custard into 6 bowls, then ‘float’ two poached meringues on top of each bowl. Divide the cooled rhubarb among the bowls and scatter over the crumbled amaretti biscuits.
The custard here is quite soupy so if you prefer a thicker custard add an extra egg yolk at step 3.
Make the custard up to 12 hours in advance, then store in the fridge covered with cling film touching the surface to prevent a skin forming.
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