Whisk the egg whites with the sugar until it forms firm peaks. In a shallow pan, such as a deep frying pan or sauté pan, bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla pod. Make ‘egg’ shapes of meringue with two tablespoons, and place them in the simmering milk. Poach for 2 minutes, and then gently turn the meringues over with two forks. When they are firm to the touch, remove them with a slotted spoon, and drain them on a clean tea-towel. Strain the milk and use to make a custard of pouring consistency with the egg yolks and a little more sugar. Pour it into a glass bowl. Float the meringues on top and serve chilled. You can decorate the meringues with toasted flaked almonds, if you wish, and threads of caramel.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.