Floating Islands is such a nostalgic, classic dessert in Hungary, we call it Madártej (bird’s milk). Hungarian Floating Islands is refreshing and smooth, made of light vanilla custard and cloud-like poached meringes.
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However we usually make this on hot summer days, I just couldn’t wait for a warmer day to make this delicious dessert.
What I love about these the most is it’s easier to make them than it seems. It’s smooth, sweet, but light at the same time. Also, the fluffy, cloud-like poached meringues are absolutely a satisfaction to bite in!
As most desserts around the world, this one has many preparation modes. I know this recipe with vanilla pudding instead of vanilla custard and I’ve heard about baked meringues instead of poached ones too. What’s common in all these are the vanilla flavor, the smooth texture, and the fluffy meringues.
The only tricky part of making it is poaching the meringues. From time to time, even after all these years, I mess up the poaching, but don’t let it pour cold water on you. If you’re unsure about it, try it out with one egg white and in water instead of milk.
To enhance the yellow color of the vanilla custard, you can use a little turmeric
Hungarian Floating Islands – Madártej
Floating Islands is such a nostalgic, classic dessert in Hungary, we call it Madártej (bird’s milk). Hungarian Floating Islands is refreshing and smooth, made of light vanilla custard and cloud-like poached meringues.
- 4 cups Milk
- 4 Eggs
- 5 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste
Separate the eggs.
Beat the egg yolks with 3 tbsp sugar.
Whisk the egg whites with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar to stiff peaks.
Heat the milk with the vanilla in a saucepan.
When the milk is hot, but not boiling., scoop the egg whites into the milk using two spoons, a few spoonfuls at a time and poach them.
Poach them for about 2 minutes at one side, flip them over, cover the pan and poach the other sides for 1-2 minus as well. Make sure the milk is not boiling in the meantime.
Get the poached meringues out of the milk to a plate and let them chill until serving.
Add a ladle full of hot milk to the egg yolks, while stirring constantly to equalize the temperatures.
Pour the mixture into the simmering milk. Stir it as it thickens a little for about 10 minutes.
Let the vanilla custard chill.
Serve it in plates or glasses, the poached meringues on top.
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