Oeufs à la Neige

Snow Eggs

This is a pudding from my childhood and properly made, probably at home, it is delightful. Unfortunately there are a great many oeufs à la neige along with the bought-in crème caramel served in hotels and restaurants in provincial France that are not worth slipping your spoon into. So I include it here for all the children I know in France and England to whom this pudding is the tops.

Ingredients

  • 570 ml(1 pt) milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 70 g( oz) caster sugar
  • tablespoons kirsch
  • few drops French vanilla essence
  • 55 g(2 oz) granulated sugar

Method

Pour the milk into your widest pan and set over a moderate heat.

Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff; then whisk in 15 g(½ oz) of the caster sugar. Just as the milk comes to the boil, take rounded dessertspoons of the egg white and drop the balls of meringue into the milk. Poach three or four at a time, spooning hot milk over the oeufs until cooked. This is done very quickly – the meringue should need no longer than ½–1 minute in the milk. Lift out each meringue with a slotted spoon and place in a large shallow serving dish. Repeat until all the egg white has been poached.

Whisk the remaining caster sugar into the egg yolks and pour on the milk, stirring all the time. Strain the mixture back into the pan, add any milk that has drained from the oeufs and cook the custard carefully, stirring all the time, never allowing it to boil, over moderate heat until just thickened.

Remove from the heat and add the kirsch and vanilla essence according to taste. Cool the custard and gently pour into the shallow dish so that the oeufs float.

Dissolve the sugar in 2 tablespoons cold water and boil fast until the mixture turns golden brown. Remove from the heat and spoon a thin trickle of the caramel over the oeufs in fine lines.

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