For the strawberry compote
500g strawberries, hulled
100g caster sugar, or to taste
For the crème anglaise
1 vanilla pod, split
6 egg yolks
120g caster sugar
For the floating islands
6 egg whites
640g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
For the strawberry compote, tip the strawberries into a pan and sprinkle with a little sugar. The exact amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the berries. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat, cover and leave to cool.
For the crème anglaise, bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla pod. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy. Bring the milk back to the boil and pour over the yolk mixture, whisking continuously.
Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously with a spatula, until the merginue is firm and smooth.
Bring a large pan of water, sweetened with 2 tbsp of the caster sugar, to simmering point. Using a large kitchen spoon dipped in cold water, scoop out a big island of meringue and plunge the spoon into water. The island should come off the spoon in water. Poach in the liquid, flipping it over 3-4 minutes to cook on both sides. Continue until you have 4 islands of meringue.
Once cooked, gently remove the island witha slotted spoon and place them on a rack to drain and cool.
When the islands are cold, heat the remaining 300g caster sugar in a heavy based pan to a golden caramel, then pour over the top of each island.
To serve, place some strawberry compote in each of 4 serving bowls, followed by the crème anglaise, then top with the caramel coated floating islands.
As seen at Hampton Court Palace Food Festival 2018.
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