I know I’m not the only one having a hellishly busy schedule these days. I seem to be a dollar short and a day late on just about everything. I haven’t visited half the blogs I normally would never miss (I’m sorry) and I feel like I’m missing out on heaps of stuff because I’m too busy working.
I’d give a lot to have more time to spend with my blog but the economy speaks and work is what I must do. So if you thought I was ignoring you because I’m lazy, not this time.
When my friend Gill arrived the other day for coffee (I do take a break when the doorbell rings) she brought with her a big sack of the last of the season passionfruit. She’s got a lovely vine growing on her fence facing the canal and she gets great morning northerly sun and the passionfruit appreciate it. (remember we’re upside down so north is good)
I decided to make some passionfruit curd and it was really delicious. I made it just like I make lemon curd. “What to do with passionfruit curd,” I wondered. Just then I saw a flash on the tv screen about iles flottante in a cookbook ad. Instantly I was transported to Paris and tasting the most wonderful fluffy meringue floating in a sea of creme anglais. I knew what to do with the passionfruit curd!
I made a floating island in passionfruit. This is an elegant but not very difficult to make dessert.
There are a few ways to make this but I chose the easy way. I baked it. I believe the correct (?) way is to poach the islands in milk, dry on a cloth and then place in the ocean of custard. That seemed way too fiddly for a weeknight dessert. It was a mini celebration for John and me but it was still a weeknight and as I said, life’s pretty busy, so baked it was.
I whipped the egg whites, added 3 tablespoons of caster sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar and piped a large island for two on a piece of baking paper. I baked it at 150C for about 40 minutes until it was just beginning to take on some color. When I make this again I’ll check the oven at 30 minutes. The meringues only need to be not raw and set.
To make the ocean I took that wonderful passionfruit curd and added enough cream to make it soupy and then plopped the meringues in the middle. We each took a spoon and both of us loved it.
Because I cobbled mine together, I won’t guess at what I put in. I know, I should have made this again but I just haven’t had time. Instead I’ll give you links to Iles Flottante that I used for inspiration.
I had a look at Ina Garten’s recipe Ile Flottante but when I saw all that sugar I decided to go out on my own and I’m very glad I did. Next time I’ll do the caramel but John doesn’t like it so, well, he does a lot for me and this blog so I like to make things he enjoys too.
- 4 egg whites
- 3 tbsp sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar
- In a mixing bowl and a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sugar and the cream of tartar.
- When the eggs being to form soft peaks, continue beating and slowly add the sugar.
- When the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has firm, shiny peaks, it's time to bake.
- Either drop by large spoonsful or pipe islands on a silpat or baking paper.
- Bake at 150C for 30 minutes until the meringue is set.
- Do not refrigerate.
- Serve in a bowl of creme anglaise or pouring custard.
- Top with caramel if you can be bothered making it. :)