Oeufs à la Neige: Fluffy Meringues Floating in Custard

Delicate meringues floating in crème anglaise and drizzled with warm custard is a classic French dessert
Oeufs a la Neige

Photo Modified: Flickr / Voedingscentrum / CC BY 4.0 

This old-school dinner party classic is much easier to put together than it looks, especially as much of it can be made ahead of time.

This recipe is courtesy of David Lebovitz.

6
Servings
346
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the crème anglaise

  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 6 large egg yolks

For the meringues

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the caramel

  • 3/4 Cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Directions

For the crème anglaise

Combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.

Make an ice bath by nesting a medium bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water. Set a mesh strainer over the top of the medium bowl.

Heat the milk and sugar until it is steaming. Whisk some of the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the pan of milk. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom, sides, and corners of the pan, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula. Don’t let the mixture boil.

When it’s thick enough, immediately strain the custard through the mesh strainer into the chilled bowl. Stir the crème anglaise to help it cool down. Once cool, refrigerate it.

For the meringues

Line a baking sheet with a clean tea towel. Half fill a wide saucepan with water, and heat until it comes to a simmer.

With a stand mixer, or by hand, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they are foamy. Increase the whisking speed, and beat until the egg whites begin to hold their shape. One tablespoon at a time, add in the sugar, until the whites hold their shape when you lift up the whisk. Do not over whip the meringues.

With one large soup spoon, scoop up a generous amount of meringue — it should be heaped so high that it looks like it will fall off. With a second soup spoon, scrape the meringue off the first spoon, so that it drops into the simmering water. Drop six balls of meringue at a time into the water — don’t let the water get too crowded. Poach the meringues for 3-4 minutes. Flip each meringue, and poach for a further 3-4 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the meringues from the water, and put them on the lined baking sheet. Poach the remaining meringues.

Pour the crème anglaise into a large, wide, chilled bowl, and nestle the meringues together on top.

For the caramel

In a skillet, heat the sugar and water together, until it turns a medium amber color. Turn off the heat and drizzle the caramel over the meringues.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
17g
24%
Sugar
8g
9%
Saturated Fat
4g
17%
Cholesterol
7mg
2%
Carbohydrate, by difference
44g
34%
Protein
4g
9%
Vitamin A, RAE
38µg
5%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
2µg
2%
Calcium, Ca
100mg
10%
Choline, total
10mg
2%
Fiber, total dietary
8g
32%
Folate, total
29µg
7%
Iron, Fe
1mg
6%
Magnesium, Mg
15mg
5%
Niacin
1mg
7%
Phosphorus, P
83mg
12%
Selenium, Se
6µg
11%
Sodium, Na
74mg
5%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
1µg
7%
Water
61g
2%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Meringue Shopping Tip

There are so many varieties of chocolate on the shelves today it can be overwhelming to pick one – as a general rule of thumb, the fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate.

Meringue Cooking Tip

Think beyond cakes and pies – fruits like peaches, pineapple, and figs are excellent grilled – brush with melted butter or wine and sprinkle with sugar and spices for a dessert that you can feel good about.