Snow Eggs

 I really like this dessert. It’s a common dessert in many cultures, and it goes by all sorts of names: snow eggs, floating islands, oeufs a la neige, lapte de pasare, etc. It’s not exactly simple, and it’s not quick, but it uses such common ingredients (milk, sugar, eggs), that you can make it anytime without having to make a special trip to the grocery store. It’s light, fluffy meringues floating in a thick custard, topped with a crunch caramel sauce. It’s very sweet, but it tastes as fancy as it looks.  


Snow Eggs
Serves 6
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
288 calories
50 g
191 g
6 g
9 g
3 g
184 g
126 g
50 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 288
Calories from Fat 56
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 191mg
Sodium 126mg
Total Carbohydrates 50g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 50g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  2. 6 egg yolks
  3. 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  4. 1/2 vanilla bean
  1. 6 egg whites
  2. 1/3 (65g) sugar
  3. pinch of salt
  1. 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  2. 3 tbsp water
  1. Make sure you have the following pots and dishes clean and available: 1 small pot, 1 medium pot, 2 large baking sheets, 2 large bowls.
  2. Take out 2 large bowls. Separate the egg whites and the egg yolks into each bowl. I like to put my egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, and the egg yolks in just a regular glass bowl. Set the egg whites aside for now.
  1. Whisk together the egg yolks.
  2. Split the vanilla bean in half and and scrape out the seeds.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the milk, sugar, vanilla seeds and the vanilla bean. Heat the milk/sugar/vanilla mixture until it's steaming, but not boiling yet. Slowly whisk some of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks. Pour a little bit at first, and keep whisking; the goal here is to temper the eggs. If you add the milk too quickly, the eggs will scramble and you have to start over. After you slowly add all the steaming milk to the egg yolks, pour everything back into the medium pot. Put the pot on the stove over low heat, stirring constantly. The custard will start thickening as it warms up. As soon as you see a slight simmer on the sides, immediately take it off the heat. Don't let it boil, or again, the eggs will scramble. Put a fine mesh strainer over your glass bowl, and strain the custard into the bowl. The strainer will catch any stray solid bits, as well as the vanilla bean. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it.
  1. Preheat the oven to 225F (yes, this low).
  2. You should already have your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add a pinch of salt. Start mixing with the whisk attachment, slowly at first, then increasing the speed to medium. After a couple of minutes the egg whites should start getting foamy. Increase the speed of the mixer and add the 1/3 cup of sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Keep whipping for a couple of minutes, until you get stiff peaks (the egg whites hold their shape when you lift the whip). Don't overwhip it though.
  3. Grease 2 baking sheets with a bit of butter. Using 2 large spoons, start forming oval meringues (like in the photo) and place them on the baking sheet. You'll probably get around 16 meringues total. Don't worry about the shape or size too much. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until they start getting a few golden spots on top. They should have a light crust on the outside, and the inside is gooey like a marshmallow. Turn off the heat and leave the meringues to dry in the oven for about 20 minutes as the oven cools down.
  1. In a small saucepan, add the sugar and the water. Place on medium heat and let it cook. Don't swirl it around, or mix it with a spoon. Just leave it alone, but watch it. After a few minutes of boiling, it should start turning an amber color. When it's a medium amber color, immediately take it off the heat. I left mine in the pot, which is why it starting burning a bit. You should be smarter than me, and immediately pour into a glass jar. It will get thick fairly quickly, so have the caramel ready right before serving. If it hardens, or you're using leftovers, just microwave for a few seconds to warm it up again.
  1. In a small serving bowl, ladle some of the cold custard from the fridge. Top with a meringue or two, then drizzle with the caramel sauce.
  1. David Lebovitz poached his meringues in a large pot of water, but mine turned out rubbery and gross. Instead, I chose to just bake them, as it's much easier and fool-proof.
  2. You can make all of these parts ahead of time and refrigerate them. Assemble them right before serving. It's ideal to have a cold custard, room temperature meringue and warm caramel sauce.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Adapted from David Lebovitz
A Kitchen Odyssey