5 egg whites
1 Tbsp sugar
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour [optional]
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
Instead of the vanilla bean you can use 2 Tbsp of real vanilla sugar or 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
• In a large saucepan, bring water to boil.
• Turn the heat down to slow simmer.
• Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
• Beat in 1 Tbsp of sugar.
• With a wooden spoon drop 2-3 spoonfuls of beaten egg whites into the simmering water.
• In a few seconds the meringues will puff up, gently turn them over with the wooden spoon.
• Cook the meringues for a few seconds longer and then transfer them with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.
• Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 3-4 minutes until very thick and creamy.
• Add 1 Tbsp of flour and whisk to combine. This step is optional.
• Add the milk and whisk to combine.
• Transfer yolk-milk mixture to a saucepan.
• Split the vanilla bean and add to the saucepan.
• Slowly heat the mixture and keep stirring with a wooden spoon
• You must NOT let the milk boil or the yolks will curdle. Let it come no higher than 175F or 80C. Dip the wooden spoon into the custard and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the streak remains without the cream running down through the streak, it is ready.
• If you use vanilla extract or vanilla sugar, now is the time to add to the hot custard.
• Strain the hot custard through a fine sieve into a bowl.
• If you used vanilla bean scrape the seeds into the hot custard and stir.
• Pour the custard over the meringues.
• Serve hot or chilled.