Krémes, meaning “creamy” in Hungarian, is a favourite traditional pastry dessert popular in Hungary. It is made up of two thin, flakey layers of buttery flavoured pastry that are filled with vanilla custard cream.
Similar to the more well-known Mille-feuille cake or custard slice dessert, Krémes are are wonderfully airy, messy, creamy and rich.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Krémes were originally invented in the 16th century but the modern form of Krémes that is popular nowadays was developed in the 19th century.
Different cookbooks described different techniques of Krémes with some authors opting for a thicker custard whereas others chose light, fluffy custard filling. Whatever the technique may be, the basics have remained quite consistent over the centuries, with the flakey layers casing the cream filling.
Although Krémes is a very popular dessert in Hungary, it is also widely eaten in other the central European countries. In Slovakia it is also known as Krémes, whereas in Poland, they are known as kremowkas. Slovenians use the name kremne rezine. Croatians call them kremsnite while Romanians, Bosnians and Serbs use the term krempite.
Hungarian Krémes Recipe
- Puff pastry (frozen) - 500g
- Whole milk - 4 cups
- Eggs - 10 (whites and yolks separated)
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Flour - 1 cup
- Cornstarch - ½ cup
- Gelatine powder - 1 ½ tbsp
- Vanilla sugar - 2 tbsp
- Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
- Whipping cream - 1 cup
- Powdered sugar - 2 cups
- Take the puff pastry and roll it into a 2mm thin rectangle.
- Now place the pastry on the baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven at 190 degrees and bake the pastry for 25 minutes. The pastry will turn golden brown.
- Now take a medium sized bowl and beat the egg yolks with vanilla sugar until it gets light and fluffy. This will take around 8 minutes.
- In the mixture, add cornstarch, flour and gelatine powder and mix well. Gradually add milk in it and mix it thoroughly. Set aside.
- Now take a pan and add around 3 cups of milk in it. Bring it to a boil.
- Pour the yolk mixture over the hot boiling milk. Whisk it continuously and continue cooking on a medium flame until it thickens.
- Once it is thickened, remove it from the heat and in it add the vanilla essence. Mix it well and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they get a shiny and foamy appearance.
- Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
- Now gently incorporate the whipped whites to the hot custardy mixture. Fold it with a spatula.
- In a bowl, add whipping cream and beat it well until it gets fluffy.
- Finally add the whipped cream in the mixture too and fold it well using a spatula.
- Now cut the puff pastry into 2 squares.
- Take a square dish and place butter paper on the sides of it.
- Place one square of the puff pastry in the dish. Add the delicious creamy filling over it. Smooth it from the top using a spatula. Refrigerate until the creamy custard starts setting. This may take around 15-20 minutes.
- Cut the other square of the puff pastry into 6 rectangular pieces. Gently arrange each piece on top of the filling. Cover it and refrigerate for around 3-4 hours.
- Your Krémes are ready to be served. Cut the pieces and dust them with powdered sugar before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1840Total Fat: 90gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 55gCholesterol: 557mgSodium: 619mgCarbohydrates: 221gFiber: 3gSugar: 126gProtein: 38g
Photo Credit: Illustratedjc