What’s For Dinner?
Mississippi Floating Islands
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
Southern Recipe Restoration Project
Peggy Livingston, a 67-year-old retired school counselor, has lived in Cobb County with her husband, a retired school principal, since 1962. "I like to cook sometimes, but my specialty is desserts. I am always requested to bring pecan pie, chocolate cake, old-fashioned chocolate fudge, or whipping cream poundcake to events and family gatherings."
Hands on time: 40 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes Serves: 4
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
For the pastry:
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet prepared pie crust
1 tablespoon ice water, more if needed
If using a vanilla bean, bring the milk almost to a boil. Split and scrape the bean, add both bean and seeds to the milk, cover and leave in a warm place to infuse vanilla flavor, about 15 minutes. Remove bean; reheat the milk to boiling.
In another medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon until thick and light, being careful not to make the mixture foamy. Whisk in half the hot milk, then whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining milk.
Heat gently over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring the custard until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat. (Add vanilla extract if not using vanilla bean.) Using a whisk, beat the custard as strongly as possible to cool it. Set a sieve over a large clean bowl, and pass the custard through the sieve.
Place the bowl in the ice bath, and stir the custard until it has completely cooled. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Store the custard, refrigerated, for up to 24 hours.
For the pastry: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. Roll out the pastry crust on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut into 12 rounds. Place a spoonful of the butter mixture in the center of each circle. Moisten the edge of each with ice water. Fold the dough over to make a half moon. Press with the tines of a fork to seal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
To serve: Ladle 3/4 cup of the creme anglaise into a bowl. Float three of the pockets in the sauce. Serve immediately.