1 In a small bowl, mix 200 ml (about 1 cup) cold milk with cornstarch until smooth.
2 Beat egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar with the whisk of a hand mixer until fluffy, then mix in cornstarch mixture.
3 Rinse lemon in hot water, wipe dry and finely grate zest. Bring remaining milk to a boil with bay leaves in a pot. Add lemon zest.
4 While stirring, gradually ladle hot milk into the egg mixture to temper.
5 Pour egg-milk mixture into pot. Cook over low heat, stirring, until custard is thickened. Do not allow the mixture to boil or yolks will coagulate. Remove bay leaves.
6 Pour custard into 6 oven-proof ramekins, each about 150 ml (approximately 5 ounces). Lay a kitchen towel on work surface, then firmly tap ramekins on towel to eliminate air bubbles. Allow to cool, then chill for at least 4-5 hours.
7 Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard and brown with a kitchen torch or under a preheated broiler, watching carefully.