Heat the milk in a saucepan over a low heat until almost boiling, then remove from the heat, cover and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is pale and frothy.
In another saucepan, dissolve the remaining sugar in ¼ cup of water over a low heat. Bring to the boil, then cook over a high heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup looks a deep golden colour. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream.
Pour the caramel cream into the hot milk, then gradually whisk this into the egg yolks. Return to the pan and cook gently, without letting it boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard coats the spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and plunge the base into a bowl of cold water to cool. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Freeze for 3–4 hours.
Just before serving, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the apricots and sprinkle with the sugar. Heat gently for 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until the apricots are glazed with the buttery syrup. Pour in the lemon juice.
Scoop the ice-cream into serving dishes and spoon over some of the warm apricots and syrup.
• If you don't have an ice-cream machine, pour the cool custard into a plastic container at the end of step 3. Place the container in the freezer. After 2 hours, remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture. Refreeze, then repeat the whisking a second time. Freeze again until completely frozen. • For an impressive garnish, decorate with toffee. Put a heavy-based saucepan over a moderate heat and gradually sprinkle in a layer of caster sugar, sprinkling with more as it melts – you'll need about 1 cup. Stir to melt any lumps. When it is golden, remove the pan from the heat and put in a sink of cold water. Drizzle the caramel into patterns on a well oiled baking tray, reheating the caramel gently if necessary.