Floating Islands have always perplexed me. When I think of the islands, I envision blue skies, teal sea water and luscious brightly colored fruit. Why then, is the traditional floating island such a bland looking dessert? White meringues floating on beige anglaise is tasty, but kind of boring to look at. Today I decided to vamp up my floating islands by first poaching them in milk infused with toasted coconut, then floating the meringues atop a pinapple sage soup.
I did follow Dorie's recipe for the meringues which were easy to make and to poach. For the poaching liquid, I toasted some shredded coconut (about ¾ cup), and I infused some skim milk with the toasted coconut. I did that by bringing the milk with the toasted coconut in it to a boil and then turning the heat off and letting it infuse for about 30 minutes. Next I strained my milk/coconut mixture and poached the islands. I was immediately unimpressed with the meringue. I don't know if I only like Italian meringue, or if my whites weren't that great, but all I could taste was egg after poaching. I also tried poaching them for different periods of time, but that didn't seem to help. Once I was done poaching liquid, I strained it again, so I could use it in the soup. For the pineapple sage soup, I pureed a quarter of a pineapple with a sage leaf and pureed it in a food processor. Next I added some brown sugar and the flesh and juice of a blood orange, a pinch of salt, the coconut infused milk and a couple good sized spoonfuls of yogurt to give it more tang. Once that was fully pureed, I strained the soup and refrigerated it. While I was doing all that I diced some pineapple, tossed it in turbinado and baked it till caramelized (like candy). I also, cut thin slices of pineapple and dried them out in the microwave.
I love the soup that I made. All of the components worked beautifully together. I dropped the candied pieces of pineapple in the soup right before serving. I was hoping they would float, but they fell to the bottom so you can't see them in the picture. They were a lovely addition of texture to the soup. The soup was great, but I didn't feel the same way about the islands. They were way too eggy for me. Unless I hear countless rave reviews from other TWDers I won't make these again.