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Poached Meringue on Golden Gooseberry Custard

A divinely-textured creation which will leave guests speechless and eyes firmly focussed on the dessert!  Also see my recipe for Floating Islands.

3 large egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
125 ml   castor sugar
400 ml milk
1 ml  vanilla essence

Gooseberry custard
1 x 410g tin gooseberries
50 ml cornflour (Maizena)
30 ml white sugar
pinch salt
350 ml milk, reserved from poaching, made up with additional milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
250 ml cream
30 ml white sugar
toasted flaked almonds
additional gooseberries (optional)

  1. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form and gradually beat in the castor sugar to form a very stiff meringue.
  2. Use two spoons to scoop out neat egg-shaped portions of meringue and place a few at a time onto the hot milk to poach.
  3. Turn over after 2 minutes and take care that the milk does not boil.
  4. Leave 2 minutes more and lift out with a perforated spoon.  Place into a large colander to drain while poaching the remaining meringue.
  5. Refrigerate in a covered container for a few hours or until required.
  6. Liquidise the gooseberries with syrup until smooth and strain into a saucepan through a fine sieve, rubbing with the back of a spoon until only the seeds remain.  Bring to boil.
  7. Combine the cornflour, sugar, salt and milk and stir into the boiling mixture.
  8. Bring to boil while stirring. Add a little of the hot mixture to the eggs and mix well.
  9. Stir into the saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir a while longer.
  10. Cool and refrigerate.
  11. Beat the cream and sugar until stiff and spoon about 1/2 of the whipped cream into a piping bag to make rosettes.
  12. Add the remaining cream to the gooseberry custard and fold together until evenly blended.
  13. To serve, pour the gooseberry custard into a large wide glass bowl of a suitable size or onto individual serving plates.
  14. Spoon the drained poached meringues onto the custard, garnish with cream rosettes and sprinkle with a few flaked almonds and gooseberries if used.

6 to 8 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking p. 560.

Floating Islands