Eggs in ‘snow’

Oeufs à la neige aux éclats de pralines, crème Anglaise pistache

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves:

    6

Appears in

New Bistro

New Bistro

By Fran Warde

Published 2009

  • About

Soft, marshmallow-like meringues sitting in a pond of crème Anglaise and then drizzled with sweet caramel make this a marriage of gentle flavours and creamy textures. This is a Parisian classic and, when executed properly, is a real treat. Benjamin adds pistachio paste to his crème Anglaise, which gives the dish an unusual twist, but was voted ‘out’ in my house! I love the method of cooking the meringue. It is perfect, easy and works every time.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Crème Anglaise

  • 15 g (½ oz) pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 500 ml (18 fl oz) milk

Meringues

  • 4 large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 160 g ( oz) icing sugar

Caramel

  • 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 dsp water
  • 10 g (scant ½ oz) crushed pink pralines, to decorate (optional)

Method

First, make the crème Anglaise. Crush the pistachios, if using, in a food processor to make a paste. Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl for 5 minutes. Bring the milk to the boil in a pan. Off the heat, pour the milk into the beaten egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Return this to the pan and, over a very low heat, stir constantly for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, but do not allow to boil. Stir in the pistachio paste, if using, then strain the custard through a fine sieve and cool.

Now make the meringues. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt until white and stiff. Add the sugar and whisk. Divide the mixture between six unlined ramekins (do not fear they will not come out) and microwave in a 650-700 watt microwave oven for 40-50 seconds until pillow-soft, like marshmallows. Leave to cool.

To make the caramel, heat the sugar in a pan with the water until it turns into a light caramel. Remove from the heat and cool.

Divide the crème Anglaise between 6 dessert dishes. Place a snowy meringue in the centre of each and drizzle over a trail of cold caramel sauce and, if using, a sprinkling of crushed pralines.