Floating Island

Oeufs a la neige snow eggs Floating Island recipe

When asked about my “desert island” dessert, it takes me about a nanosecond to respond, and I invariably reply that it’d be Œufs à la neige, otherwise known as “Snow Eggs.” It’s one of those classic French desserts that, even though I’m not French, I have a deep fondness – and a sense of nostalgia – for. When I order it in restaurants I am usually disappointed. Often it’s made with pre-packaged crème anglaise (yes, that’s a thing, or powdered) and bottled caramel sauce, neither of which appeals to me.

I want the real thing: Homemade custard sauce, served ice-cold, topped with fluffy mounds of meringue, finished with spoonfuls of almost-burnt caramel, enough to give it a bit of an edge, but not enough to be actually burned.

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)

I don’t make Œufs à la neige nearly enough, which is probably a good idea since I tend to dip into the bowl of meringues, lopping off mouthfuls of meringue along with vanilla-scented custard sauce and a bit of caramel.

I was recently thumbing through French Roots by Jean-Pierre Moullé and Denise Lurton Moullé, who are French, but who’ve spent “thirty-something” years in the United States, according to the introduction to the book. Jean-Pierre was the chef downstairs at Chez Panisse and if you read My Paris Kitchen, he was the handsome Frenchman who wooed me with his French omelet-making techniques.

Their new book does, indeed, have a French omelet recipe in it, but there’s plenty more. Many of the recipes are French, with references to their native Bordeaux, with others inspired by the bounty of Northern California. I particularly enjoyed the chapter, Life in Berkeley in the Seventies, as well as France en Famille, about growing up in the French countryside. Both left a deep impression on them and guided their cooking.

There are also lovely pictures of their house in the country, their vibrant French garden, and the roaring fire in the kitchen where dinner is often prepared by Jean-Pierre from foods he hunted and forged in the surrounding woods and fields. Hmm..come to think of it, next time I see them, I’m handing them my adoption papers.

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)

In addition to the recipes, Denise shares some of the quirks between their life in America, in contrast to their life in France. Such as when signing up for a family plan for mobile phone service for them and their children, they were in and out of the mobile phone store in the U.S. within minutes. In France, it was several days of gathering birth certificates, and reams of other paperwork, before they were allowed to open a family account.

She also shares a story about how enthusiastic Americans are about things, using superlatives like “Incredible!” or how much we just love something, which she says the French consider such excess vulgar. As she notes, high praise in France would be pas mal, or “not bad.”

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)

I guess I’m still très américain because I love œufs à la neige, and I can’t contain my enthusiasm for this dessert, which is a little on the sweet side. When I saw Denise putting the finishing touches on hers in French Roots, I got cracking and made a batch of crème anglaise, whipped up fluffy meringues in my mixer, and melted some sugar until it pooled into a bubbling-hot, amber caramel.

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)

Another difference between the French and Americans that I’ve noticed is that people don’t get too worked up in France over a homemade dessert that looks — well, homemade. If they want perfection, they go to their local pâtisserie. People are always delighted to be presented with something that’s homemade, so don’t expect this to look like something from a chic pastry shop in Paris. It should look like something from your kitchen, wherever your roots are.

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)

Œufs à la neige (Snow Eggs)
Print Recipe
Six servings
Inspired by French Roots: Two cooks, two countries & the beautiful food along the way by Jean-Pierre Moullé and Denise Lurton Moullé (of Two Bordelais) It’s common to poach the meringues in milk, then use the milk afterward as the base for the crème anglaise, which Denise does in the book. However I like the custard to be really, really cold when served, so I make the custard sauce well in advance (it can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated), so it’s hyper well-chilled when it hits the bowls. I chill the individual serving bowls, too. If you want to poach the meringues in the milk, Denise offers instructions and proportions in the book. Although Americans are the ones prone to “going to the extreme,” I dialed down the egg yolks in Denise’s crème anglaise. She uses eight, I use six – so feel free to use either. You’ll notice I got a few larger blobs of caramel in mine because I was trying to drizzle the caramel while take pictures of it, which isn’t recommended (especially if you like to bake barefoot.) So be “present” when making and drizzling the caramel. But when eating the finished dessert, you can do so with abandon.
Crème anglaise
2 cups (500ml) whole milk 500ml
6 to 8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) sugar,
1/2 vanilla bean
Meringues
6 to 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
pinch of salt
Caramel
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3 tablespoons water
1. To make the crème anglaise, combine the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan. Split the ½ vanilla bean lengthwise then scrape out the seeds and put them, and the pod, into the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. (Use six if you want a standard custard sauce, eight if you prefer it extra-rich.)
2. Make an ice bath by nesting a medium size metal bowl in a large bowl filled with ice and a little cold water. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
3. Heat the milk until steaming. Whisk some of the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom, sides, and corners of the pan, until the custard is thick enough to coat the spatula. Don’t let the mixture boil.
4. Immediately strain the custard through the mesh strainer into the chilled bowl. Pluck out the vanilla pod, wipe off any bits of egg on it, and return it to the warm custard. Stir the crème anglaise to help cool it down. Once cool, refrigerate.
5. To make the meringues, line a baking sheet lined with a clean tea towel or paper towels. In a large, wide saucepan or casserole, fill it about halfway with water and heat it until it comes to a lively simmer.
6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium speed, or by hand with a whisk, whip the egg whites with the salt until they are foamy. Increase the speed of the mixer (or your whipping, with the whisk) until the egg whites begin to start holding their shape. Whip in the 1/3 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the whites hold their shape when you lift the whip. Do not overwhip or the meringues will be dry.
7. Using two large soup spoons, scoop up a generous amount of the meringue onto one spoon – it should be heaped up so high that it threatens to fall off – then take the second spoon to scrape it off, dropping the oval of meringue into the simmering water. (You might be tempted to spend a few moments shaping the meringue into a nicer oval with the second spoon before scraping it off, but in the finished dessert, it won’t really matter much all that much. Remember, this is a home-style dessert.)
Don’t crowd too many into the pot; they should be allowed to float freely. Doing six at a time is usually a good number. Plan on getting sixteen meringues from the egg whites, total. But don’t worry if you don’t; two makes a good portion for some people, others want three.
8. Poach the meringues for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip each one with a slotted spoon, and poach for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the meringues with a slotted spoon and put them on the lined baking sheet. Poach the remaining meringues.
9. When all the meringues have been poached, pour the crème anglaise into a large, wide, chilled bowl. Nest the meringues close together on the top, floating them in the crème anglaise.
10. To make the caramel, heat the sugar and water in a skillet, swirling it as little as possible, if necessary, so it cooks evenly, until it turns a medium amber color. Turn off the heat and use a spoon to drizzle the caramel over the meringues.

Do-ahead notes: You can make the crème anglaise up to three days in advance and refrigerate it. The meringues can be made the same day of serving and refrigerated as well. The caramel is best made and drizzled at the last minute although can be done 1 to 4 hours ahead. The longer you let it sit on the dessert in the refrigerator, the more it will soften and become sticky. A few hours usually is fine, though. No part of this dessert can be frozen.


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78 comments

  • Debbie Kuchciak
    April 1, 2015 12:13am

    Sounds divine…of all the sweet possibilities in the world…nothing has greater appeal to my inner child than meringues. I have never had Snow eggs but I am sure they will grace our Easter table on Sunday. Thank you for posting! I don’t say it nearly enough…I love your blog!

  • Mariann
    April 1, 2015 12:24am

    Americans are going to extremes only when they’re trying to make French desserts.at least that is true for this American. I want my desserts to remind me of Paris.

  • Mihaela
    April 1, 2015 12:37am

    Oh I’m so excited about this recipe – my mother used to make this for me in Romania, where it is known as lapte de pasăre, Romanian for “birds’ milk.”

  • April 1, 2015 12:48am

    Les Iles Flottantes ! My mom’s were so good as we were growing up, that I never ordered them in restaurants. They used to be more popular than they are now, and would be featured on menus alongside crème brûlée or mousse au chocolat. Yours look pretty good, David! — French Girl in Seattle

  • April 1, 2015 12:49am

    Is this the same thing as Floating Island? I’ve never made that, but it’s in the Katharine Hepburn/ Spencer Tracy movie Desk Set. They have an impromptu home cooked meal together, and I’m always skeptical about this dessert being a candidate for impromptu, but maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe I’m just not as fabulous as Katharine Hepburn!

    • April 1, 2015 12:52am
      David Lebovitz

      Floating Island is a often used to refer to a large meringue baked in a caramel-lined mold, in a water bath. (I have a recipe for one in The Sweet Life in Paris.) But the terms are often used interchangeably.

  • Jim
    April 1, 2015 12:49am

    Thanks David, I had always poached them in milk, which can be a pain, I will try it in water straight away!

  • Anita
    April 1, 2015 12:54am

    This looks easy enough, thanks!

  • April 1, 2015 1:46am

    Lazy me makes floating island instead of oeufs a la neige! I should really try it soon complete with custard and real caramel… I make my island float on the caramel from the pan and dulce de leche. Have you tried this dessert with zabaglione?

  • Kari
    April 1, 2015 1:51am

    I have never made or tried Snow Eggs. I feel as though I am missing out on something here. Yum!
    Kari

  • April 1, 2015 1:53am

    I have been obsessed with œufs à la neige for the last couple years, after I had an exquisite version at a small Paris cafe…but like you said, that perfect taste is a quickly fleeting memory among poorly made imitations.

    Your pictures and description has my mouth watering all over again. Thanks for the inspiration! I know what I’ll be making this weekend!!!

  • Prunella
    April 1, 2015 3:01am

    Bistro L’Express in Montreal has the real thing. Next time you are there and are craving it, give it a try!

  • Rachel
    April 1, 2015 5:30am

    Prunella, thank you for the recommendation! I was just wondering where I could try it and I live in Montreal.

  • April 1, 2015 5:41am

    what a beautiful recipe, i’ve never seen anything like this! fun post to read, too. i was laughing about the french disregard for enthusiasm. i love france and have spent time there, i sympathize with and admire many things in the french ‘psyche’ (a generalization, i know, but still). but this issue always left me as an outsider. i’ve had my american friends describe my spirit dog as a pomeranian, so maybe i just won’t ever be french-cool. oh well. i just LOVE france anyway! :)

  • April 1, 2015 6:19am

    Is this something that has to be eaten fairly fast / the meringue islands start falling apart? They seem so delicate and airy!

  • April 1, 2015 7:16am

    Now you can say you are French. You even crave for traditional nostalgic French dessert! In South West of France we also call it “île flottante”. It’s a staple and it must be homemade !

  • Stephanie Doublait
    April 1, 2015 8:52am

    My son has been begging me to learn how to make this since the dame de la cantine (lunch ladies) made it from scratch for the entire school last week. He is going to be so excited and I will give you all the credit!

  • April 1, 2015 10:01am

    Here in the Touraine this is always called Iles flottantes as far as I know. One of my husband’s favourites and a great staple of working men’s restaurants, almost as common as creme caramel and creme brulé. I know what you mean about it often being disappointing in restaurants. I have an art historian friend who refers to it as ‘cuckoo spit on custard’ and remembers it with distaste from her school days.

  • April 1, 2015 12:09pm

    Do you know that we have as part of our traditional cuisine repertoire (Portuguese) a very similar dessert? But instead of topping it with caramel we use cinnamon. It’s called “Farófias” and I’m pretty sure that Portugal and France shared the recipes in some point of our history. Would love to track the origins of it.
    This is the kind of dessert that is gone in a blink of an eye.

  • huw rowlands
    April 1, 2015 12:26pm

    You write so well – I’ve been reading your blog for years and never made any of the recipes (I rarely cook). I keep coming back just for the pleasure of reading it. Diolch.

  • April 1, 2015 12:58pm
    David Lebovitz

    Susan, Fleur: My friend Pascale wrote a bit about that, how Œufs à la neige is now mostly called Île Flottante; she cites Gaston Lênotre for the definition. There are lots of variations on the dessert(s) – some use soft caramel for a sauce, other use toasted or caramelized almonds on top.

    anna: As Denise notes in the book, Americans tend to be very upbeat and optimistic, in general. And sometimes the French make playful fun of the American expression “Oh my God!” that’s used frequently.

  • Deborah Olin
    April 1, 2015 2:28pm

    i love you, David

  • Cynthia Rieth
    April 1, 2015 2:44pm

    As soon as I started reading this I realized it was the same as my grandmother’s recipe for Floating Island! She included it in her 1957 cookbook “Just What Our Doctors Ordered” and it was also served at The Maramor – a well known restaurant in Columbus, OH from the ’40’s to ’70’s!

  • sillygirl
    April 1, 2015 4:43pm

    I have made Julia Child’s Floating Island several times – cooked the meringue and made the sauce – served it with fresh strawberries and now you give me the option of caramel sauce! I can’t pick which one is best – maybe make each serving half and half?

  • Janet
    April 1, 2015 4:44pm

    I love classic French desserts, including this one. I, like you, also prefer the custard cold, so thanks David for your version.

    I have been cooking from this book French Roots since December and am really enjoying the recipes so far. The Rabbit Rillettes with Rosemary I made several times over Christmas – so delicious and easy. Recently made the Pot au Feu and it was also wonderful.

    What a life this couple have built together. Very enviable – Iooking at their pictures of their home in France – wow.

  • Gladys
    April 1, 2015 5:35pm

    Had this in Paris years ago. It is divine!!!!

  • Susan B
    April 1, 2015 5:39pm

    The restaurant attached to the fromagerie La Ferme St.-Hubert made an irresistible Île Flottante–you had to order early before they ran out. It came as a fat wedge of baked meringue floating in cold creme anglaise, over which the caramel was drizzled. Now I’m inspired to try your version, especially as I don’t have a working oven at the moment.

    Blobby caramel or no, your close-up of the caramel-dripped meringue on the spoon is irresistible. As is the green KitchenAid!

  • Becky
    April 1, 2015 5:41pm

    when we were sick as children, we knew things were looking up when “Floating” Island showed up at dinner! Such wonderful comfort food!

  • Nancy Eddy
    April 1, 2015 5:43pm

    I can’t believe you’ve already had two recommendations for Bistro L’Express in Montreal! We drive up to Montreal from our camp in the Adirondacks every summer for lunch at L’Express and always have their superb “Oeufs a la Neige” for dessert. It really is enough for two, though I’ve been known to eat most of one!

  • Robin
    April 1, 2015 5:45pm

    Reading this post, I had an immediate flashback to a meal at Alain Ducasse’s Aux Lyonnais in Paris where, for dessert, I had oeufs a la neige swimming in creme anglaise that was so good I wanted to put my face in the bowl. Looking forward to making your recipe.

  • April 1, 2015 6:09pm

    Yes I would like to be adopted by them as well. How long do you think the line is?
    Sounds like I need this cookbook! These Oefus a la neige are stunning. I’ve never heard of them but I can already tell I’d love them.
    My Irish friend thinks we are over enthusiastic too, everything is awesome! And it drives him mad when we tell him directions based on time and not distance but honestly in DC time is a much better measurement ;)

  • April 1, 2015 6:11pm

    Looks very yummy ….

  • April 1, 2015 6:12pm

    Beautiful oeufs a la neige, David! I appreciate that you use the same number of yolks for your creme anglaise as the number of whites for your meringue. This dessert is also one of my favorites. I remember being so fed up as a newlywed. I spent all kinds of time preparing a dish for my husband’s sister and all she could say was “pas mal…” I remember thinking “pas mal? Pas mal??” and being so outraged because I knew, I just knew she was doing that to get my goat. We ended up becoming very close and I caught on after a few years. But I still do get a few “excellent” and “whaou”s now and then, so I can say that some French people do show enthusiasm, especially for the ones they love!

    • April 2, 2015 2:08pm
      David Lebovitz

      I still have trouble with pas terrible, which actually means something in bad. In American English, that would mean “not bad”, or average. I used to say J’adore a lot more when I moved to France and people poked fun at me, so now I use it only when I really (really) mean it!

  • April 1, 2015 6:16pm

    My grandmother in Ohio, English hertage, made floating island. No caramel, and the islands were separate little puffs. She seemed to whip it up easily, but I’ve been intimidated.Is there a British traditional Floating Island, too Or was it one of those fancy restaurant dishes that made it into Americam Midwest kitchens, I wonder?

  • Sabra
    April 1, 2015 6:20pm

    Another Montrealer here….. I am so fond of this dessert that I had it twice in one day while in Paris. Since then, my husband (who is from France) has kidded me mercilessly about my moaning and groaning after dinner that night. David, I hope you will put Montreal on your list of book signings. Appetite for Books would love to have you….

  • Querino de-Freitas
    April 1, 2015 6:25pm

    what a desert to make for showing off…its not difficult to do……its lovely with just a small amount of hazel-not folded in……we in the Trinidad island we call this dish floating island……cheers Querino de-Freitas

  • April 1, 2015 8:58pm

    Oh my gosh, my mother used to make something similar, but the recipe card in her recipe box (from the 1960’s) says ‘Snow Pudding’. It was one of my childhood favorites. Thanks for the flash back!

  • Lisa
    April 1, 2015 11:03pm

    My mom used to make these for “fancy” dinners! She served them in individual cut glass bowls with a few raspberries hiding in the bottom. The tart raspberries with the creamy custard and burnt sugar topping makes for a perfect dessert – light and rich!

  • April 1, 2015 11:41pm

    We make a Croatian version of these “snow eggs”, too! We usually add cocoa powder or chocolate chips to it; I have to try this caramel version!

  • Louise Divine
    April 2, 2015 1:01am

    you are just the best. uptown downtown urban rustic you take all the cakes.

  • April 2, 2015 1:14am

    Hm, “Not bad”.
    Hahaha
    This dessert looks divine!

  • Kathleen
    April 2, 2015 1:24am

    An alphabet question: what is the first letter you use where I usually see the spelling “oeufs”? It looks like the o and e conjoined.

    Is this a common spelling in France, instead of the word for eggs we learned in high school French?

    I think you have outdone Julia Child’s île flottante. Bravo!

  • Susan C.C.
    April 2, 2015 1:39am

    Usually I think “oh I’m going to try making that!” but today I’m thinking, “oh I wish someone would make that for me!” Feeling slightly lazy on a grey and rainy day, but it does look sublime. And OMG!! I just love the green stand mixer!

  • Donna Adams
    April 2, 2015 1:53am

    David
    I also had Oeufs at Alain Ducasses’s “Aux Lyonnais” Amazing Delicious. It is my favorite! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Vera
    April 2, 2015 2:39am

    Thank you David ! My favorite dessert in Paris ! When I was growing up in the Hungarian part of Romania this was the standard birthday party dessert for children. As another Romanian reader commented, it was called Bird’s Milk, “Madar Tely” in Hungarian.
    I call this emotional enjoyment of beloved childhood foods “eating memories” …
    Thank you for showing me how easy it is to make, now I can indulge at home.

  • Louise
    April 2, 2015 5:10am

    I thought this dessert was called “floating island”, although in a bit different configuration seems like all the ingredients are the same? It was my husband’s favorite dessert from his childhood, so now I have a new recipe to try. Thank you!!

  • Ody Grant
    April 2, 2015 7:03am

    French not enthusiastic? Incroyable! Magnifique!

  • April 2, 2015 7:22am

    For Katleen – It is a specific character: œ
    We use it for œuf, œil. cœur, etc.
    You can read more about “E dans l’O” (this is the name we are taught at school) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%92

  • Mare
    April 2, 2015 11:39am

    Funny, I always thought it is a traditional Hungarian recipe as my grandma used to make it. And she knew very little French cuisine ;) anyway, an old favorite.

    • April 2, 2015 2:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      A lot of foods in the world, including Europe, are influenced and borrowed from other cultures. Croissants may be from Austria, macarons from Italy, coffee from Africa, bagels from Poland, etc which all become part of traditions. Food anthropologists spend a lot of time researching where foods come from.

  • ault
    April 2, 2015 12:19pm

    “If they want perfection, they go to their local pâtisserie.” Funny how living here changes you. Our local pâtisserie, whilst keeping its 16e prices, has let its standards slip.

    7 years back, I would hardly have noticed the change. I now notice, and get rather cross, when I see a dented Opera or a shoddily glazed tarte aux fraises proudly displayed in their vitrine. This sense of personal affront betrays the fact that I am turning, ever so slightly, Parigot.

    • April 2, 2015 2:05pm
      David Lebovitz

      Ha! Yes, after a while, you do understand why people complain more in France, although it’s more being exigent – or “discriminating.” I have 5 bakeries in my neighborhood, but only 2 or 3 are good. (One is truly awful and they have long lines, although that may be because they’re open until midnight.) And at each bakery, there are certain things that are good, and I get my baguette at one place, miche at another, and pain d’épices at yet, another!

  • Nancy
    April 2, 2015 12:23pm

    I love it so much I’m often happy even with the pre-fab stuff one gets in bistros these days, but made well it’s the best thing ever.

    A propos of nothing, does anyone on this blog have an idea of where I could procure Poblano chiles (called Pasillas in California) in France? I live in the south, but would travel… Even the canned would do in a pinch…

  • Nancy
    April 2, 2015 3:04pm

    While pas terrible means bad, “pas mal” means pretty good. Go figure…

  • April 2, 2015 4:07pm

    Gorgeous pictures!! I mean…pas mal. I’m completely guilty of being the superlative heavy American, with a tendency to be enthusiastic when I like something. That’s the first time I’ve heard it as interpreted as vulgar, but really funny considering the French. Makes sense. I have actually never had oeufs à la neige, and clearly the time is nigh. Curious how this compares to ile flottante. Can’t wait to try this, thanks.

  • April 2, 2015 5:35pm

    I love the color of your mixer!

  • Robert
    April 2, 2015 6:40pm

    Les îles flottant. My favorite addition (I originally made the Freudian slip of typing addiction instead of addition) to any Brasserie menu. Delicious, refreshing and economical. I agree le crème anglais needs to be cold for this to be at its best. Your recipe and photos look sooooooo good.

  • mio
    April 2, 2015 8:11pm

    I love you David

  • witloof
    April 3, 2015 7:21pm

    I remember you wrote a while ago about how much you like merveilleux so I wanted to share this article:

    Aux Merveilleux de Fred

  • Jane in NC
    April 4, 2015 1:17am

    Must I confine my comments to snow eggs? I hope not because I want to tell you David that our menu tomorrow has been determined by two of your recent posts: clam chowder and sweet potato/apricot cake. Local clams are available from my fish monger, hence the former. I still have a few sweets from the bushel I purchased from a local farmer last fall hanging about in my garage, hence the latter.

    I’d rather be in Paris but the island I call home will do.

    New convert to your blog.

    With gratitude,

    Jane

  • Julia Shaw
    April 4, 2015 3:01am

    I too have never had them but I too think it would be a wonderful tradition to start on Easter! Wish me luck!

  • Hannah Wong
    April 4, 2015 3:06am

    Help! I just attempted this and my creme anglaise curdled horribly! Did I not temper the eggs well enough? Or was my milk too hot?

    • April 4, 2015 5:05pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, you’ve overcooked it. It can be rescued sometimes if you put it in a blender while it’s warm (making sure to never fill a blender no more than half full, and covering it with a kitchen towel as the hot liquid inside can splash out – so it’s important to take those precautions, or just use a stick blender…) – and blend it on low speed, which will bring it back.

  • Denise
    April 5, 2015 5:55pm

    It seems delicious David. Happy Easter.

  • Liz Searles
    April 5, 2015 9:13pm

    I love this dessert but never tried making it before. I was inspired by your recipe (and that incredible green mixer) to try it for Easter dinner. Creme Anglaise, check; but my snow “eggs” look more like pancakes. They go into the water fluffy and come out flatter and cool into something like a fried egg without a yoke. Any hints? Merinque not stiff enough? water too hot? cooking too long or not enough?? Thanks for any help.

  • Elizabeth
    April 6, 2015 12:49am

    I’m in the midst of making this for Easter dinner — made the creme anglaise yesterday, no problems there. The meringues? Total failure. I’ve made them several times in the oven, and they’ve come out great. But the poaching method defeated me. They were a gooey, gelatinous pancake and didn’t even taste good. Where did I go wrong?

    I’ve made many of your other recipes from your blog and from My Paris Kitchen and they’ve all been … pas mal! Huge hits, actually.

  • April 6, 2015 3:36am
    David Lebovitz

    Elizabeth and Liz: The meringues will deflate somewhat as they rest and won’t retain the same loftiness they have when they come out of the liquid. But should still taste good. I’ve made these a lot over the years and like them, but understand that not everyone likes meringues.

  • Carvitto
    April 6, 2015 5:16am

    This was fun! I tried getting the Creme as cold as possible, even tried putting it in the freezer for a bit. Would like to get it colder and more firm. Maybe iI was just craving vanilla ice cream…suggestions?

    Keep the food coming.
    Jc

  • Rochelle Eissenstat
    April 6, 2015 11:18pm

    The ultimate use of the modest under appreciated milk, eggs, sugar!

  • April 7, 2015 11:17am

    As soon as I saw salted caramel..that’s it- i am in!

  • April 7, 2015 9:23pm

    So good! I love this dessert, yes I said love. LOL And how odd to have such a problem getting a family phone plane, we were in and out of the store a bit longer than in the US, but still probably within thirty minutes.

  • Martin
    April 7, 2015 10:12pm

    My eggs deflated like Elizabeth’s and looked nothing like your ‘rested’ meringues. Could it be that, although I had nice stiffish peaks, I didn’t whisk quite long enough? But, I have to say, despite the deflation, this recipe wowed my teenagers and there’s not much that I do that reaches that level of appreciation. Thanks for encouraging me to try it.

  • Erin
    April 12, 2015 2:13am

    Thanks! My mother used to make this for special dinners and I was just thinking that I was about due to make some. Scrumptious.

  • Sathya
    April 14, 2015 12:04am

    Hi David. I made served this last night and couldn’t eat it the eggy taste was overwhelming…. Everything came together well and looked lovely but the taste! Did i do something wrong? Any thoughts.

    • April 14, 2015 4:39am
      David Lebovitz

      Since it’s a dessert with basically two components; custard and egg white meringues, it’s going to taste eggy, like eggs. Not sure what to say as you didn’t do anything wrong, but perhaps this dessert just isn’t for you.

  • Sathya Lawson
    April 14, 2015 12:05am

    Hi David. I made served this last night and couldn’t eat it the eggy taste was overwhelming…. Everything came together well and looked lovely but the taste! Did i do something wrong? Any thoughts?

  • April 21, 2015 9:16pm

    Hi David, this is one of my childhood desserts! I’m living in Romania (Transylvania) and my grand-grand mother cooked me this awesome so called “Bird’s Milk” (Lapte de pasare – in romanian). It’s delicious chilled, straight from fridge. This is my first comment here therefore I’d like to congratulate You for all your great articles, packed with valuable information. :)