For the creme anglaise: Mix the sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl.
Place the vanilla pod
and seeds in a pan with the milk and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove the pod (you can rinse and dry it and use it for vanilla sugar
). Then pour a little of the hot milk onto the egg
yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, and then pour the mix into a clean pan, set over a gentle heat and whisk constantly. Do not let the custard
simmer at any point or it will split. After 5 minutes it will begin to thicken slightly and become the consistency of single cream
(it will thicken more when it cools down). Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
For the praline: Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the sugar and 1 fluid ounce/25 milliliters water into a large pan; heat gently until the sugar dissolves, and then increase the heat to high. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the almonds and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent the almonds sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Once the sugar and nuts
have become a dark golden-brown caramel
colour, pour onto the prepared tray and spread as thinly as possible with a palette knife (be quick as it sets fast). Set aside to cool.
For the meringue islands: Put half the egg whites into a clean glass or metal bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice
and salt and whisk
white. Add the rest of the egg whites and continue whisking until the meringue forms stiff peaks when the whisk is removed.
Gently drop 6 spoonfuls of meringue into a large pot of simmering water and simmer
until they are slightly puffed up and just set, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a sheet of baking paper until needed.
To assemble, pour a ladleful of creme anglaise into each of 6 glasses and gently place a meringue
in the centre. Snap the praline into small pieces and sprinkle on top.