Floating Islands

Serves 6





4 free-range egg whites

65 g (2½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

zest of ½ orange


Crème anglaise

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) thin (pouring) cream

100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

6 free-range egg yolks

Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur, to taste

Mixed fruits (seasonal)

3 fresh figs, sliced

1 peach, flesh sliced

125 g (4½ oz) strawberries, hulled and sliced

125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) raspberries

125 g (4½ oz) blueberries

2 oranges, segmented

2 ruby grapefruit, segmented

Pulp of 2 passionfruit



For the meringue

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks using electric beaters.

Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until all the sugar has been added and the peaks are nice and firm. Fold in the orange zest.

Evenly divide the mixture among 6 lightly oiled 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) ramekins and cook in a bain-marie for 5 minutes at 160ºC (320ºF), measured on a sugar thermometer. (If you don’t have a bain-marie, use a double-boiler, or a dish set over a saucepan of simmering water.)


For the crème anglaise

In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream and 1/2 the sugar over medium–high heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Mix the egg yolks and remaining sugar together in a metal bowl. Whisk 1/2 the hot milk and cream mixture into the egg yolks, then add the remaining hot milk and cream. Whisk well, then transfer to a clean saucepan and place back over the heat, cooking slowly to 75ºC (165ºF), taking care not to overcook or the eggs will scramble.

Remove from the heat, strain into a clean metal bowl and allow to cool over an ice bath until the mixture is cold. Stir in a good splash of liqueur.

To serve

De-mould the floating islands into six individual serving bowls.

Arrange the fruit around the floating islands and drizzle with the crème anglaise.