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Banana Custard Floating Islands. An Easy, Kid-Friendly Twist on the French Classic.

When asked to name a dish that reminds me of my childhood, it takes me hardly a second to respond – it would be îles flottantes or Floating Islands. As a child, I lived in Paris for almost 2 years, and my mom learned how to make this classic French dessert where poached meringues magically levitate on top of a sea of creamy custard. My mom always added a layer of my favorite fruit, sliced bananas, as a tasty surprise hiding at the bottom under the custard, and substituted chocolate shards on top instead of the more classic caramel sauce.

It is a truly dreamy dessert, that I have a deep fondness for, and one that I have now passed onto my kids. Lightly sweet and creamy, kids simply can’t resist the ethereal “islands” floating on top that melt in their mouths. Bon appetit!

Banana Custard Floating Islands. A modern twist to the French classic.
Serves 6
Lightly sweet and super creamy, kids simply can’t resist these melt-in-your-mouth “islands” floating on top of a sea of velvety custard and bananas. Bon appetit!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups 1% milk
  2. 3 eggs; separated
  3. 2–3 tbsp organic cane sugar
  4. 2 ½ tbsp corn starch
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 3 bananas, sliced
  7. Dark chocolate for garnish
To make meringue “islands”
  1. Pour milk into large saucepan and place on low heat.
  2. While milk is heating, whisk 3 egg whites in stand-mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 tbsp sugar. Continue mixing until soft peaks form.
  4. Take large scoops of the whisked egg white mixture and place on top of the simmering milk.
  5. Allow the “islands” to poach for 5 minutes on low heat.
  6. Scoop out islands with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towels. Reserve the remaining warm milk.
To make custard
  1. Whisk 3 egg yolks and 1–2 tbsp sugar (if you prefer a sweeter custard, use the extra tbsp of sugar) in stand-mixer on medium-high speed until pale yellow and starting to thicken.
  2. Add 2 ½ tbsp corn starch and mix until blended.
  3. Pour in the reserved milk and whisk until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a medium sauce pan and place on medium heat. Stir mixture until it starts to thicken (approximately 5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
To assemble
  1. Cut 3 bananas into ¼” slices and layer on bottom of serving dish.
  2. Pore custard mixture over bananas to cover.
  3. Place meringue islands on top of custard to cover.
  4. Use a peeler to grate dark chocolate on top.
Notes
  1. Keep refrigerated until ready to enjoy.
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