In a large, wide saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean to a simmer.
To make the meringues: In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff but not dry. Scoop up several large serving spoonfuls and poach on the simmering milk, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on serving plate. Repeat until all the egg whites have been used.
To make the creme Anglaise: in another large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and ribbon-y. Add the warm milk to the egg yolk mixture and return to the saucepan. Cook, over low heat, stirring constantly without letting it come to a boil, until mixture thickness and coats back of spoon. Strain and flavor with rum and vanilla extract. Ladle creme Anglaise around poached meringues.
To make the Caramel: in a small saucepan, cook the remaining 1 cup sugar until caramelized, stirring constantly. Stir in the almonds. Turn off heat, being careful not to burn the caramel. Carefully spoon caramel over the meringue.
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