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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich

Islas Flotantes de Vainilla de mi Abuela Lali
Serves 10

For the Floating Islands
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the Caramel
1 1/2 cups sugar

For the Vanilla Sauce
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 inch piece vanilla bean
10 strawberries optional for garnish, sliced, or any other fruit of your choice

To make the caramel:
Place sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar melts, moving the pan so it will not burn, until it has a caramel consistency. Turn off the heat and pour the caramel quickly into individual flan or custard molds as you tilt them, so the caramel covers the bottom of each mold. The caramel will quickly cool and set.

To make the floating islands:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place egg whites in a mixer with the salt and cream of tarter and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Add in the extracts and the sugar and mix until combined. Then top each of the molds with the egg white mixture.

Place molds in a large baking pan. Pour about an inch of boiling water into the pan to create a water bath. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. The top of the islands will look browned and crispy. Turn the oven off, open the door oven slightly and let the islands cool inside of the oven for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven.

To make the vanilla sauce:
In a saucepan, lightly beat the egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour.

In another saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean (make a slit on its side and free the seeds into the milk). Let it heat until very hot but not boiling. Slowly, in a very thin stream, add the hot milk into the yolk mixture, emulsifying with a whisk until it is all incorporated. Place over low heat and stir until the sauce almost reaches a boil, and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Turn the heat off and keep on whisking slowly, for about a minute or so. The sauce can be served hot, warm or cold. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month once cooled.

Once the molds have cooled to room temperature, you can unmold them. Use a knife to go around the edge of the molds and carefully turn them onto a plate. Drizzle the caramel from the bottom of the molds on top of the islands. Add a couple tablespoons of the vanilla sauce on top. You may garnish with strawberries or any other fruit of your liking.

Islands can be refrigerated in their molds, covered, for up to 4 days.


This looks really good. We saw you making this today and will give it a try :)

I enjoy watching your program and I appreciate your posting the recipes on your web site. I want to make many of the dishes that you prepare and I need a printed recipe. Thank you and I hope you will continue this great program. Wishing you continued success and keep up the good work.

Please post the recipe for almond and orange flan that you did on the show I watched on July21 on WFYI 3. Wonderful program!

Hola Sybil, Here is a link to the recipe for the Orange and Almond Flan that was from the Middle Eastern Influences episode. I hope you enjoy it!

Hi pati
Today viewed your show for the first time. Awesome! I love Mexican food but I do not know to cook any dishes! I will try to cook your grandma Lalique floating island. Hopefully, I can learn something from you.

Hola Alexandra, I so appreciate that you liked the show so much! I hope between the show and the website, it will make tackling, even the most complicated of dishes, a piece of cake. As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions about the recipes.

Hi Pati, we made these floating islands today and they turned out great following your instructions. Tasted very good :)

That is so great to hear Scott! I’m happy you enjoyed them :)

Hi Pati,
Can the Floating Island recipe be halved successfully? I’d love to make this recipe–just not 10 servings of it! Will it keep if refrigerated or must it be eaten the same day?

Saw your show for the first time today and loved it. I’m making the Islands this week for my son and his girlfriend who are home from college on spring break. Thank you for the great recipe!

The BEST show…I am making Floating Islands this weekend. thanks

Thank you Dryden!

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