Finely grind the almonds; mix with sugar. Beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Carefully fold in almond/sugar mixture. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet lined with greased and floured waxed paper. Greased parchment paper or brown paper will also work. If available, use rice paper to line, and just leave it.Place in preheated 350? F oven, lower to 325?F. Immediately, continue baking for 20-30 minutes
Mix cream, sugar, yolks and cornstarch in a saucepan. Simmer together, stirring constantly until it becomes thick and fluffy. Cool.
Stir in the butter to soften, working it into the cream mixture little by little, beating vigorously.
Flavor with your choice of vanilla, arak, rum or liqueur.
A delicious variation: stir 1 tsp instant coffee into the cream while cooking, use cognac or brandy (Grand Marnier) to flavor.
Immediately after removing almond meringue from the oven, divide into 2 equal portions and peel the lining off. If it sticks warm the meringue again.
Place one half of the almond meringue on a serving plate, spread with about 1/3 of the cooled cream mixture. Place 2nd half of the meringue on top of this, cover top and sides the remaining 2/3. Cool.