1.25 litres Whole milk
2 Vanilla pods
4 Eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
165g Caster sugar
110g Granulated sugar
Pour the milk into a saucepan. Split
the vanilla pods with a small, sharp
knife; scrape out the seeds and add
seeds and pods to the milk. Bring to
a bare simmer; remove from the heat
to infuse as you make the meringue
For the meringue, whisk three egg
whites with the salt until thick and
foamy. Then, 1 spoonful at a time, add
120g caster sugar, beating until the
mixture is very thick and glossy.
In a wide, shallow pan, bring the vanilla milk back to a bare simmer. Gently lower six scoops of meringue into the milk. Poach for 4 minutes; carefully turn over and poach for
a further 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the islands onto a plate lined with a clean tea towel to
drain. Strain the milk into a clean pan.
For the custard, warm 500ml vanilla
milk. Then, in a large bowl, whisk
4 egg yolks with the remaining
45g caster sugar. Pour in the hot vanilla milk, whisking constantly.
Sieve this mix into another pan. Stir
over a medium-low heat until it is
thick enough to coat the back of
a spoon. Leave to cool, then chill.
To make the caramel, put the
granulated sugar in a small,
heavy-bottomed saucepan with
3 tbsp water. Bring to a simmer, then
remove from the heat and swirl the
pan until the sugar has dissolved
and the liquid is clear. Return to
a medium-high heat; bring to a rolling
boil, swirling the pan occasionally
until the syrup is a caramel colour.
To serve, spoon some custard onto
each plate, top with a poached
meringue and drizzle with caramel.
This recipe was first published in March 2010.