“I’ve only just started making this French bistro classic and it’s quickly become a favourite in our household. Poached meringue bobbing in a chilled custard, then finished with lovely crunchy flakes of toasted almond and thin shards of bitter caramel.” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (14 votes)


  • flaked almonds (toasted), to serve



  • 1 egg, plus 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 70 g caster sugar
  • 500 ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest



  • 4 egg whites
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 500 ml (2 cups) full-cream milk



  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 50 ml water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the custard, whisk the egg, egg yolks, vanilla and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Heat the milk and orange zest in a heavy-based non-stick saucepan over low–medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling. Strain the hot milk into the egg mixture, then whisk until combined. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low–medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the wooden spoon (see Note). Transfer the custard to a jug or bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.

To make the meringue, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, add 1 tablespoon of the sugar at a time, whisking well after adding each spoonful, until stiff peaks form. Heat the milk in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until hot and barely simmering. Gently drop 3 large spoonfuls of the meringue into the barely simmering milk and poach for 3 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon, then place on paper towel and cover very loosely with plastic wrap.

To make the caramel, combine the sugar and water in a small heavy-based, non-stick saucepan and swirl to combine (see Note). Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, then cook for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and a deep-golden coloured caramel has formed; watch carefully as a few extra seconds will result in burnt caramel.

Warm the custard in a small non-stick saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.

To serve, pour about ⅓ cup of the custard into 3 small bowls, gently scoop up a poached meringue and lower each one onto the custard. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and drizzle with caramel sauce, then serve immediately.  



• If the custard curdles, immediately transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

• Watch the caramel carefully and remove it from the heat as soon as it has turned a golden colour as it burns easily and caramel that’s black and smoking is inedible, but a slightly burnt auburn- coloured caramel will impart a lovely hint of bitterness to cut through the sweetness of the dish.


Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.

Poh & Co. 2 Thursdays at 8.30pm on SBS.


View recipes and more from Poh & Co. on our program page.