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Floating Island


  • 8 eggs whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • One and one-half superfine sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • One and one-third cups granulated sugar
  • 1 piece of vanilla bean, 6 inches long, halved lengthwise
  • 8 egg yolks


  • 5{ whites with the superfine sugar and salt until they form stiff peaks. Combine the milk, granulated sugar, and the vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to a simmer. Drop large spoonfuls (about half a cup) of the egg white into the barely simmering milk and poach, a few at a time, for 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to drain.
  • Beat the egg yolks until thick and pale. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly. Stir over very low heat until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil, else the eggs will scramble.
  • Chill the custard and poached egg whites separately. To serve pour custard into a serving dish, float the meringue islands on top.