Paleo Floating Island

17 Mar, 2021
Salsify Pasta with Creamy Leek Sauce

Floating Island Dessert

I made a gluten and dairy free, paleo diet friendly version of the classic Floating Island dessert. My version is a remaking of the original one.

Floating Island has a long history. This dessert was published at the first time in a French Cookbook in 1651. The earliest known English language reference to the dessert was in the 18th Century. It was published in American cookbook in 1847. But those desserts were not exactly the same as what we now know. The version of the Floating Island dessert what is considered now a classic was created in the 19th century, in France.

Poached meringues in custard became a traditional dessert enjoyed worldwide. The Hungarians know it as “madártej”, that means “bird’s milk”. I learned how to make it from my grandmother when I was little girl. She made this dessert lot of times, because the family loved it very much.

Merengue Islands

The merengue islands can be made by two procedures. One of procedures is when we cook the merengue islands in hot water for a very short time, for about 2-3 minutes on both sides.

The other method is when we put the merengue into greased molds and bake in the oven in bain-marie for about 20 minutes.

Always pay attention, it is not possible to beat the egg whites into foam if the bowl is not perfectly clean. It has to be absolutely fat free.

I use erythritol or xylitol powder to sweeten the egg whites. Unfortunately, some people can’t tolerate and need to substitute. Use maple syrup instead of it, but only a small amount, because the consistency of the foam will be not perfect.

Salsify Pasta


Always pay attention, it is not possible to beat the egg whites into foam if the bowl is not perfectly clean. It has to be absolutely fat free.

Paleo Floating Island

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chilling time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Andrea


  • Electric hand mixer


For vanilla custard

  • 1 liter almond milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla beans
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch for thicker custard
  • 1 pinch salt

For poached merengue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp erythritol or xylitol powder
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 pinch salt

For decoration

  • 4 tbsp almond slices roasted
  • Mint leaves optional


  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls. Put the bowl with egg whites into the fridge.
  • Make the custard. Add honey and 1 pinch salt to egg yolks. Mix with electric hand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy.
  • Add ground vanilla beans and mix.
  • Heat almond milk on medium low heat until warm but it’s not boiling. Set aside.
  • Add 1 ladle almond milk to egg yolk mixture very slowly and stir constantly. We do not want to make egg crumble.
  • Add 3 ladles almond milk more, one at a time, stirring constantly.
  • Return the mixture into the pan. Cook on medium low heat for about 8 minutes, until slightly thicken. Stir constantly and do not boil it!
  • This step is optional if the custard is not thick enough. Add 2 tbsp water to 1 tbsp tapioca starch, mix well. Pour into the custard, stir well and cook slowly on low heat for 3-4 minutes for thicker consistency.
  • Remove the custard from the heat. Put the pan into a bowl which is filled with cold water and let to cool down. Stir frequently. Wait until its temperature is right to put it into the fridge. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until completely cool down.
  • Make poached merengue. Bring 2 liter of water to boil in a large pan.
  • Beat the egg whites with electric hand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until they start to firm up.
  • Add erythritol (or xylitol) powder, one tablespoon at a time, 1 pinch of salt, 1 tsp tapioca starch and beat for 3-4 minutes until a stiff peak form.
  • Reduce the heat under the water. Make sure the water doesn’t boil or the meringues will puff then collapse. Using a serving spoon dipped in cold water, shape big quenelles of the meringue. Put them in the hot water, cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Cook only 4-5 quenelles at a time. Be careful, do not overcook, because the poached merengue has to be airy inside.
  • When fully cooked, gently remove with skimmer spoon and place on a wire rack to drain. Put them into the fridge until serving or set aside at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Don’t make it much earlier before the serving because it is not possible to store for a long time.
  • Pour cold vanilla custard to bowls, then carefully top with meringue “islands”, sprinkle with a bit of roasted almond slices and decorate with a mint leave. Serve immediately. Enjoy!