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!
- 2 ½ cups 1% milk
- 3 eggs; separated
- 2–3 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 bananas, sliced
- Dark chocolate for garnish
- Pour milk into large saucepan and place on low heat.
- While milk is heating, whisk 3 egg whites in stand-mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
- Add 1 tbsp sugar. Continue mixing until soft peaks form.
- Take large scoops of the whisked egg white mixture and place on top of the simmering milk.
- Allow the “islands” to poach for 5 minutes on low heat.
- Scoop out islands with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towels. Reserve the remaining warm milk.
- 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.
- Add 2 ½ tbsp corn starch and mix until blended.
- Pour in the reserved milk and whisk until combined.
- Pour mixture into a medium sauce pan and place on medium heat. Stir mixture until it starts to thicken (approximately 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Cut 3 bananas into ¼” slices and layer on bottom of serving dish.
- Pore custard mixture over bananas to cover.
- Place meringue islands on top of custard to cover.
- Use a peeler to grate dark chocolate on top.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to enjoy.