saffron-infused English creme (custard) in a bowl topped with meringue, decorated with edible flowers and saffron threads

Ile Flottante with Saffron Crème Anglaise


Ile Flottante—‶Floating Island″—is a truly elegant finish for a special meal.


Crème Anglaise:

2 vanilla beans, cut lengthwise and scraped
2 C heavy cream
1 C whole milk
1¼ Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fine salt
3 saffron threads


¾ C egg whites
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1½ tsp vanilla paste
Hibiscus crystals, to garnish
Edible flowers, to garnish
Saffron threads, to garnish



  • Sous vide circulator
  • Sous vide pouches
  • Vacuum sealer
  • 2 medium bowls
  • Chinois
  • Electric mixer
  • Bamboo or metal steamer
  • Piping bag
  • ¼” piping tip
  • Spherical silicone molds


Prepping time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 20 minutes (excludes sous vide cooking)




For the Crème Anglaise:

  1. Set circulator to 181.4°F (83°C).
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk, then strain through a chinois.
  3. Transfer strained mix into a sous vide pouch and seal.
  4. Cook in water bath for 30 minutes, shaking the bag about 15 minutes into the cooking process.
  5. Remove from the water and set aside or chill. (Can be served hot or cold.)

For the Meringue:

  1. Set circulator to 129.2°F (54°C).
  2. Place the egg whites and sugar in a sous vide pouch and seal. Cook in water bath for six hours to denature the egg white proteins, necessary for creating meringue.
  3. Next, transfer the egg and sugar mixture into a bowl and add cream of tartar.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the eggs for eight minutes or until frothy.
  5. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for an additional 5 minutes until stiff peaks form and appear glossy.
  6. Turn mixer speed down to slow and whisk in vanilla paste for another two or three minutes.
  7. Place the meringue into a piping bag with a ¼” tip and pipe into 1” spherical silicone molds, then close and place into a hot steamer.
  8. Close the steamer and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Carefully remove the silicone molds from the steamer and rest for five minutes before opening the molds.

To Serve:

Pour the crème anglaise in a bowl and place a meringue atop each. Garnish with hibiscus crystals, edible flowers, and saffron.

Developed by Chef Delian DiPietro, Sous Chef at Cuisine Solutions. Featured in Sous-Vide magazine Fall/Winter 2018.

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