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Ile flottante Citronnée aux Fruits d’Été

This recipes comes from a web site which to me must rank as one of the sites having the finest recipes on the internet. It is the web site of Peter Hertzmann and is called à la carte.

What is à la carte about? This is best described in Peter's own words:

"I’m obsessive. All my life, when something interested me, I became obsessed with it. I learned all I could about it. I lived it! . . . I’ve been obsessive about food as long as I can remember. I am now obsessive with French cookery - its preparation, materials, history, politics, and culture".

To learn more why not visit the à la carte web site - click here

In this unusual fruit salad, each bite is perfumed by the hint of lemongrass. The subtle, lemon flavor is carried over into the meringues. The meringues require a large pan of water, but will shrink substantially as they cook. Just about any combination of ripe, summer fruits will work for this preparation. In the picture below, strawberries, black figs, white peaches, and blueberries were used. The original recipe called for fresh apricots, but these were unavailable when this recipe was prepared, so dried ones were substituted.


1 branch lemongrass, trimmed
250 milliliters water
200 grams sugar
100 grams fresh or dried apricots
800 grams summer fruits, bite-size pieces
3 egg whites
60 grams sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Cut lemongrass lengthwise a number of times, but leave the last inch of the root end uncut. Fold in half and add to a sauce pan with water and sugar. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add apricots and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Remove lemongrass and discard. Purée mixture in a food mill. Homogenize the mixture with a hand blender. Set aside to cool.
  • Add fruit to syrup and macerate for a couple of hours.
  • Beat egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks are formed. Add sugar and lemon juice and continue beating until firm peaks are formed. Bring a wide pan of water to a low simmer. Using 2 spoons, dipped in warm water, form 8 quenelles of the egg whites. Cook quenelles gently for 3 minutes on each side. Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Divide fruit among serving bowls. Place 2 quenelles on each plate and serve.

Serves 4

Laurent Duchéne, Cuisiner, August 1997, page 27.

To visit the à la carte web site - click here