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This is a classic oeufs à la neige (snow eggs), served during the second course at dinner. Here, snow refers to the poached meringues, and cream is the custard in which they are floated. Elizabeth Raffald suggested snow and cream as “a pretty supper dish.”

This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Cooled Boiled Custard for serving


1. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, gradually adding the sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated, continue beating the meringue to stiff peaks.

2. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat. Using a tablespoon or soupspoon, shape the meringue into ovals and drop into the simmering milk. Poach gently for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. The meringues will be puffed and firm. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meringues from the milk, and set on paper towels to drain.

3. Pour the Boiled Custard into a serving bowl, and place the poached meringues on the surface. Cover and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 6 to 8