Halved, pitted, filled with butter and brown sugar, and then broiled, apricotsare a delicious treat over custard, or over oatmeal for breakfast.
Make the custard: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour. Beat just to combine, about 30 seconds.
In a medium saucepan, scald milk and vanilla bean over medium heat. Discard vanilla bean. With mixer running, pour half the milk into egg mixture, and beat until smooth. Return the mixture to saucepan, and set over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture just begins to bubble, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap touching surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.
Make apricots: Heat broiler. Halve apricots along their natural line; remove pits. Place halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Fill each cavity with 1/2 teaspoon each of butter and brown sugar.
Place apricots under the broiler 3 inches from heat. Cook until the butter has melted, the sugar has started to bubble and caramelize, and the apricots have softened, about 3 minutes, depending on ripeness of the fruit. Let cool slightly.
When ready to serve, spoon custard into individual serving bowls, dividing evenly; garnish each portion with 2 or 3 broiled apricot halves.
To keep the custard from curdling, make sure to whisk constantly while it cooks and do not let it boil. The custard can be made up to three days ahead and chilled; broil the apricots just before serving.