A good meringue is cooking sorcery. To those who have watched a soufflé go from a fluffy success in the oven to a deflated plate of sadness when served, I offer my sympathy. To achieve perfection in cooking, we sometimes need to cheat. The addition of cornflour to egg whites may be viewed as a form of impurity, but it provides some stability to the otherwise volatile aerated mixture, so I say go for it.
Îles flottantes are like a sweet version of eggs Benedict – where we basically serve an egg in a sauce of itself. The flexibility these dishes afford in using different flavours and ingredients is a big draw for me. It’s like a blank canvas to display our seasonal joys. Here I have used passionfruit and orange because I love the acidity they bring to the party. But you could just as easily use stone fruit or quince.
Egg whites are actually better for this application once they are a little older. For best result, separate the eggs and place them into small sauce bottles some days prior. That way, when it comes to weighing them, it’s easy to squeeze them into the measuring container.