Pierre Koffmann's oeufs à la neige recipe stays true to the classic French dessert of light-as-air meringues floating on a bed of vanilla custard. A thin layer of caramel adds an elegant touch to the final dish.
Koffmann's cooking is undeniably refined; classical yet humble, with provincial French touches grounding the skilful elegance of the food. Taking inspiration from his Gascon roots, Koffmann artfully extracts extraordinary flavour from ordinary ingredients and cuts.
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To make the crème anglaise, bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla pod. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale in colour
600ml of whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
6 egg yolks
100g of sugar
Gradually pour the boiling milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan over a low heat and cook gently, stirring with a wooden spatula until you can run your finger through the custard on the spatula and leave a clear mark
Pass the custard through a sieve into a bowl and leave until almost cold – stirring from time to time
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold in the sugar
6 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
50g of sugar
With a large metal spoon, shape 4 large scoops of egg white and place them in the pan of simmering water. Poach for 2 minutes, then turn over and poach for a further 2 minutes on the other side. Carefully lift out the meringues and place on a tray
To make the caramel decoration, place the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water into a thick-bottomed pan and heat gently until a deep golden brown colour
50g of sugar
1 tbsp of water
Divide the cooled custard into 4 separate serving dishes and carefully place a meringue on top of the custard. Drizzle the caramel over each meringue and serve
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