I’m late, I know. But I had to slow down, unplug for a few time, take care of my home, of my children, of my hubby, of my friends. I took many long walks on the sea side, I took warm winter sun rays and also a freezing breeze, I watched wonderful sunsets, I visited Rome with the eyes of my son. I took many pictures, I made food shopping in unknown food shops and bought new food, I cooked it for friends, I ate at friends and at new restaurants. I would love to sleep more…. but it does matter.
I have also jot down a list of good intentions for 2019. It came out long as a telephone directory. After a while, looking at it, also discouraged by my implicit current imperfection, I laughed – I laughed at me – and I resolved that the good intentions for this year will be only two:
1. be grateful for all that I have and,
2. set only R-E-A-S-O-N-A-B-L-E goals.
For me, never satisfied with life, new things and new challenges, these are two very ambitious goals. And so actually I’ve already failed the second one 🙂
Any way, I anticipate you that the first practical application of my goal no. 2 is to write two posts per month on the blog. I would love to write one per week, ideas and enthusiasm are not lacking, but unfortunately time does. So two, but made with love and care. My online home will remain open and alive, even if not so crowded.
So, I open this year with a delicious, light and sweet recipe. It is the recipe of “sciumette”, an ancient elegant dessert now almost forgotten locally.
“Sciumette” (“small foams” in Genoese dialect) are very light meringues that, instead of being baked, are boiled in milk and served floating over a delicate pistachio cream.
They are the narrow sisters, probably the result of cross-border contamination, of the French (actually Provence) “Isles flottantes”, also known overseas as “Floating Islands”.
I anticipate that after reading the recipe you will think it is too difficult to make because boiling stiffed white eggs in milk seems a pastry chef challenge. Well this is not, it’s so simple! The egg whites maintain their beautiful boat shape and swell slightly due to the heat. Just a few seconds and they are cooked, stable forever.
The pistachio cream then is a piece of cake. The only warning is to never boil milk otherwise the eggs will create lumps. That’s it. Try it, they are very rewarding, and then let me know!
If you feel confident you can also prepare a more fancy version and decorate it with a caramel net. I tried as you can see in the picture below. It came out not that perfect but I had fun in trying it!
- 5 eggs
- 1 liter of whole milk
- 100 g of powdered sugar
- 60 g of pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- a pinch of powdered cinnamon
- Prepare the floating islands first. Pour the milk in a saucepan, keeping half a glass aside, place it on the stove and bring to a light boil.
- Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the whites and whip the whites until stiff adding 50 grams of sugar. They shall be pretty firm and shiny. Pour the mixture into tablespoons (4/5 at a time) in the simmering milk. The floating island will swell slightly. Turn them gently with a spoon. Cook them for about 1 minute or until they are firm.
- Remove with the skimmer and lay on absorbent kitchen paper. Repeat the operations until all the whites have been cooked.
- Prepare the cream: remove the saucepan with the milk from the heat, add the remaining sugar and the beaten egg yolks and put aside. In a pan heat the half glass of milk left aside, add the chopped pistachios (keep aside a couple of teaspoons to garnish the dish), cook for 2-3 minutes stirring from time to time, remove from the heat, strain and add to the cream.
- Put the cream back on the stove and on a very low fire let it cook always stirring until the cream veils the spoon.
- Pour the cream into the cups, place on top a couple of floating island and sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped pistachios.
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