Floating Island Recipe from Uruguay with Vanilla and Lemon

Floating Island

Floating Island Recipe from Uruguay with Vanilla and Lemon
Region / culture: Uruguay | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 2 minutes | Servings: 4


Floating Island
Floating Island

Floating Island is a classic French dessert consisting of a light and fluffy meringue "island" floating on a sea of creamy custard sauce. This elegant dessert is sure to impress your guests with its delicate flavors and beautiful presentation.


The origins of Floating Island can be traced back to 18th century France, where it was a popular dessert among the aristocracy. The dish was often served at lavish banquets and formal dinners, showcasing the culinary skills of the French chefs of the time. Today, Floating Island remains a beloved dessert in French cuisine and is enjoyed by people around the world.


Custard Sauce

Floating Island

How to prepare

Custard Sauce

  1. Beat 3 or 4 egg yolks slightly.
  2. Add sugar and 1 tsp of salt.
  3. Scald 2 cups of milk and slowly stir it in.
  4. Place the custard over a very low heat.
  5. Stir it constantly and make sure it doesn't boil.
  6. Alternatively, stir over simmering water until it starts to thicken.
  7. Strain and cool the custard.
  8. Add vanilla, rum, sherry, or a little grated lemon rind to the custard.
  9. Chill it thoroughly.
  10. This is not a firm custard, but rather a custard sauce.

Floating Island

  1. Prepare the above recipe for custard sauce, flavored with lemon rind.
  2. Place it in a baking dish.
  3. Whip 3 egg whites and 0.13 tsp of salt until stiff.
  4. Slowly add 3 tbsp of sugar, 0.5 tsp of vanilla, or a few drops of almond extract while continuously whipping.
  5. Heap the whipped egg whites on top of the custard.
  6. Place the dish in a hot oven (500°F (260°C)) for 2 minutes, or under a broiler until the tips of the meringue are brown.
  7. Serve the custard hot or cold.


  • Try adding a splash of rum or brandy to the custard sauce for a boozy twist.
  • Top the meringue with fresh berries or a fruit compote for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Experiment with different flavorings such as almond extract or orange zest for a unique taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form for a light and airy meringue.

- Slowly add the sugar and flavorings to the egg whites while whipping to ensure a smooth and glossy meringue.

- When baking or broiling the meringue, keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

- Chill the custard sauce thoroughly before serving for the best flavor and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Floating Island with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg or a drizzle of caramel sauce for added flavor. Pair it with a cup of hot tea or coffee for a delightful end to a meal.

Cooking Techniques

Whipping the egg whites until stiff peaks form is key to achieving a light and fluffy meringue for Floating Island. Be gentle when folding in the sugar and flavorings to maintain the meringue's airy texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use almond extract or rum in place of the vanilla for a different flavor profile. For a dairy-free version, use almond milk or coconut milk in the custard sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the custard sauce and meringue ahead of time and assemble the Floating Island just before serving. Keep the custard and meringue refrigerated until ready to use.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Floating Island in individual dessert cups or ramekins for an elegant presentation. Garnish with a sprig of mint or a dusting of cocoa powder for a finishing touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Floating Island with a glass of sweet dessert wine such as Sauternes or Muscat for a delightful combination of flavors. Alternatively, enjoy it with a cup of herbal tea or espresso for a simple yet satisfying dessert.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Floating Island in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place the dessert in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for a few minutes until warmed through. Be careful not to overheat the meringue, as it may deflate.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories: 200 per serving


Carbohydrates: 25g per serving


Total Fat: 6g per serving

Saturated Fat: 3g per serving


Protein: 6g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Floating Island is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and iron.


Contains eggs and dairy. May contain traces of nuts.


Floating Island is a light and indulgent dessert that is relatively low in calories but rich in flavor. It provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, making it a satisfying treat.


Floating Island is a timeless dessert that combines the lightness of meringue with the creaminess of custard sauce. With a few simple ingredients and techniques, you can create a stunning and delicious dessert that is sure to impress your guests. Enjoy this classic French treat as a sweet ending to any meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always be special to me. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my dear friend Maria, who was known for her incredible culinary skills. We were sitting in her cozy kitchen, sipping on tea and chatting about our favorite recipes when she suddenly got a twinkle in her eye.

"Have you ever heard of Floating Island?" she asked, a mischievous smile playing on her lips.

I shook my head, curious to learn more about this mysterious dish.

"It's a French dessert made with a delicate meringue floating on a sea of vanilla custard," she explained. "It's light, airy, and absolutely divine."

I was intrigued and begged her to teach me how to make it. Maria chuckled and agreed, pulling out her worn recipe book from the shelf. As she read out the ingredients and steps, I couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement. This was going to be a culinary adventure like no other.

We spent the afternoon whipping up the meringue, carefully shaping it into delicate clouds before gently poaching them in simmering water. The kitchen was filled with the sweet scent of vanilla as we prepared the custard, stirring it slowly over the stove until it thickened into a velvety smoothness.

Once everything was ready, Maria carefully assembled the dessert, placing the meringue clouds on top of the custard and drizzling a caramel sauce over them. The final touch was a sprinkle of toasted almonds for a bit of crunch.

As I took my first bite of Floating Island, I knew that this recipe was something truly special. The meringue was like eating a fluffy cloud, while the custard was rich and creamy with a hint of vanilla. The caramel sauce added a touch of sweetness that balanced out the flavors perfectly.

From that day on, Floating Island became one of my favorite recipes to make. I would often whip it up for family gatherings and special occasions, delighting everyone with its light and airy texture. It was a dish that never failed to impress, and I was grateful to Maria for introducing me to it.

Over the years, I have made some tweaks to the original recipe, adding my own twist with different flavor combinations and garnishes. Sometimes I would top it with fresh berries or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a bit of warmth. Other times, I would infuse the custard with a splash of rum for a boozy kick.

No matter how I choose to make it, Floating Island always brings back fond memories of that summer day in Maria's kitchen. It reminds me of the joy of cooking and sharing delicious food with loved ones. And it serves as a testament to the power of friendship and the beauty of discovering new recipes and flavors.

As I sit here now, reflecting on that special moment, I can't help but feel grateful for the culinary journey that led me to Floating Island. It may be just a dessert, but to me, it represents so much more – a connection to the past, a celebration of friendship, and a reminder of the joy that comes from sharing good food with those we love. And for that, I will always be thankful.


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