Pretty pink raspberry meringue islands float in a pool of minted crème anglaise. More mint and raspberries garnish the dish. These are simple to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and are feather-light. A pretty dessert for company!
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Granulated sugar
- Egg Whites - 8, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- Granulated Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Fresh Raspberries - 1/2 pound
- Mint Crème Anglaise
- Whole Milk - 1 pint
- Vanilla bean - 1, split
- Mint leaves - 80 (approximately)
- Egg Yolks - 5
- Granulated Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Raspberry Puree - 1 cup
- Mint - 4 sprigs
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Generously butter four 4-inch diameter by 2-inch deep molds. Put a little sugar in the molds and rotate to coat the sides; dump out the excess.
To make the meringue: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add a pinch of salt and continue beating on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in a fourth of the raspberries. Divide the meringue among the molds and level the tops with a spatula. Place the molds in a deep baking dish and add hot water to reach half way up the sides of the molds. Bake until the consistency of the meringue is like a sponge cake, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the molds and let cool.
To make the mint crème anglaise: Put the milk in a non-aluminum saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with the point of a knife, then add the pods. Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat and add half the mint leaves. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the remaining mint leaves. Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and chill the mixture. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl again, press plastic wrap on the surface, and refrigerate.
To serve: Unmold the meringues and place one in each shallow dessert bowl or soup plate. Garnish the top with the remaining raspberries. Spoon mint crème anglaise around the islands. Put the raspberry puree in a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the fruit. Dot the crème anglaise with raspberry puree. Garnish the tops of the floating islands with mint sprigs.