- 2 cups milk
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200°. In a heavy, medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil; remove from the heat. Using a small knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a medium stainless steel bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and sugar, then slowly whisk in the hot milk. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until starting to thicken, about 6 minutes; do not let it boil. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve set over another stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl in a slightly larger bowl of ice water. Whisk the sauce often until chilled, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of the sugar at high speed until they start to turn white and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the whites hold firm peaks, about 1 minute. Spread the meringue in the prepared dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until just set.
- Pour the crème anglaise into shallow bowls. Cut the meringue into 4 squares. Using a spatula, transfer the squares to the bowls and serve.
The meringue can stand at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 hours. The crème anglaise can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.