Hungarian Floating Island (Madártej)
Fluffy egg white clouds floating in vanilla custard. This traditional Hungarian dessert is really nice and very popular among kids (and grown-up kids). It is easy to prepare, light, and extremely delicious.
It is called ”Madártej” (“MOD-AR-TAY”) in Hungarian, which means bird’s milk.
It is a good thing to know that it requires simple ingredients that are easily available at home – eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla sugar, vanilla extract or vanilla pod.
The egg white clouds are cooked in milk. If made right, the island should be firm and light and the milk should have a consistency of light cream and have a scent of vanilla.
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 liter of whole milk
1 vanilla pod or 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of sugar
Lemon zest – optional
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Do not let any egg yolk get into the white. (Yolks go in a medium bowl, whites go in a large bowl.)
Slice the top outer layer of the vanilla pod in half lengthwise. Once you have cut through the outer layer you can open the vanilla pod to reveal the many little black seeds inside. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
Start heating milk in a big pot, add the vanilla beans. Heat until hot but not boiling.
In a bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. When the milk is hot, using a spoon, put the dollops of egg-white foam in the milk (they will look like dumplings). Cook one side for about 2 minutes, then flip to the other side, cover the pot and cook for another 2 minutes. When the egg-white foam dollops have boiled, take them out of the milk and place them in a strainer or colander.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and the color is light yellow. Add this mixture into the hot milk and stir continuously. Do not let it boil. This prevents the eggs from scrambling. Keep stirring until you get a creamy content. After turning the heat off, keep stirring for another minute.
When it is ready, pour the contents into nice serving bowls and let it cool down.
Then place the boiled egg white foam on the surface of the cream. Sprinkle with lemon zest.