Vanilla Custard with Toasted Meringue and Almonds
For the custard, pour milk into a saucepan. Halve vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with a sharp knife. Stir vanilla bean and vanilla seeds to milk and slowly bring to a boil. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a second saucepan and stir in 40 grams (approximately 3 tablespoons) sugar. Whisk cornstarch and cream and pour into milk, stirring constantly. Bring custard mixture to a boil. Separate eggs and whisk yolks with 3-4 tablespoons hot custard mixture to temper. Whisk egg yolk mixture into remaining custard mixture, remove from heat and let cool while stirring. Transfer custard to an oven-proof glass bowl. For the meringue, beat egg whites until stiff, sprinkle in remaining sugar and continue beating until sugar is dissolved. Spoon meringue over custard and sprinkle with almonds. Place custard under a preheated oven broiler until meringue and almonds are golden brown, watching carefully. Serve custard immediately.