Floating Island – Poached French Meringue with Custard (Naturally Gluten Free)

A floating island is a French dessert consisting of thin vanilla custard with a poached ball of meringue balls, dumplings if you wish, floating on top. Top them with your choice of several sauces below. I chose a bit of cherry sauce from a can of gluten free cherry pie filling in addition to chocolate sauce. Because a floating island is filled with egg protein, it definitely makes for a healthier dessert compared to starch-filled alternatives. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Get creative in the kitchen today! What will you top yours with?

Floating Island (Naturally Gluten Free)


Floating Island (Naturally Gluten Free)

A floating island is a French dessert and is naturally gluten free. It consists of vanilla sauce with a poached meringue dumpling and dessert sauce on top.


  • 6 cups milk, divided
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch (2 teaspoons tapioca starch)
  • Your choice toppings: Chocolate Dolce de Leche (chocolate caramel sauce), Dairy-Free Corn-Free Caramel Sauce|http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/gluten-free-caramel-sauce/], chocolate sauce, sauce from gluten free pie filling, etc.


  1. Add 5 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup of the sugar, butter and vanilla over medium heat; whisk until sugar is dissolved; bring to a boil.
  2. Add egg whites to the bowl of your mixer; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Add the remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form; with an ice cream scooper or wooden spoon, scoop 2 balls of meringue into the simmering milk mixture; poach, rolling balls to coat with milk, and spoon milk over them as they cook; cook for about 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Once firm, using a slotted spoon transfer them to bowl; continue with remaining meringue; reserve milk in pan. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.
  5. Lightly beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup milk, and starch to a bowl; whisk gently; add 1 cup warm milk from sauce pan into egg mixture; pour back into pan; whisk continuously; bring back to a boil; lower heat to medium; cook until thickened or it coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour custard into a large bowl; allow to cool at room temperature; cover top of custard with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, about 6 hours.
  7. When ready to serve, stir custard; divide between 8 glasses or ramekins; pour 1 tablespoon of whipping cream on top; add a meringue dumpling; and top with your choice sauce(s).


Serves 8.


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