I have recreated the krémes of my childhood. With several years of on and off krémes experiments behind me, I am happy to announce my first batch of successful krémes! Krémes is a classic Hungarian treat. Krémes is made from real vanilla custard; predominantly eggs and milk. It is sandwiched between layers of flaky pastry and then dusted off with a layer of confectionary sugar… krémes is pure delight on all fronts.
VANILLA INFUSED MILK
2 cups milk
1 vanilla pod
1-1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup chilled hard margarine
1 pinch of salt
4 Tbsp cold water
4 tsp vinegar
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup + 1Tbsp flour
2 pkg. or 2 Tbsp real vanilla sugar
3 pkg. gelatine [21 g]
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
candy thermometer is essential
1/4 cup icing sugar
• Make the vanilla infused milk first.
• Heat the milk in a saucepan.
• Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, and add the bean pod to the milk.
• Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
• Next make the flaky pastry.
• In a large bowl crumble the flour and the chilled margarine to fine crumbs.
• Mix in the salt.
• Place the cold water and the vinegar in a small dish.
• Pour the liquid over the pastry crumbs.
• Stir to combine and gradually form a rough ball.
• Generously flour a board and roll out the pastry into a thin rectangle.
• Roll up the pastry and divide into 4 parts.
• Roll each division into a thin rectangle.
• Stack the four rectangles on top of one another.
• Chill for twenty minutes.
• Divide the chilled pastry into two equal halves.
• Roll out the first pastry very thin.
• Fold it in half and place the folded edge in the middle of the 9X13 baking pan.
• Unfold and arrange the pastry with deep folds as in the photo.
• Let the dough go up the sides halfway, pastry will shrink during baking.
• Place in a preheated 400F oven for 14-18 minutes.
• Keep a watch, pastry burns easily.
• When the pastry is golden brown, remove pan from the oven.
• Immediately cut pastry into twelve squares.
• Divide the long side by 4 and the short side by 3.
• Wait a few minutes and very carefully remove the squares and set them aside in the same order as they were in the pan. These will go on the top later.
• Roll out the remaining dough and arrange it in the baking pan as before.
• Bake the second pastry sheet and set it aside. This will be the bottom of the krémes.
• Next make the custard layer.
• In a medium sized bowl beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar for 8 minutes
• In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, gelatine and the vanilla sugar.
• Gradually add the flour mixture to the beaten egg yolks and beat until smooth.
• Remove the vanilla pods from the vanilla infused milk.
• Gradually add the vanilla infused milk to the bowl with the eggs and the flour.
• Transfer custard to a medium sized pot.
• Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pot so you can keep an eye on the temperature.
• Over medium heat and continually stirring heat the custard.
• Do not let custard heat beyond 80C [176F] for this recipe.
• When the custard reached 80C remove from heat.
• Stir in the butter and set aside.
• While the custard is cooling whip the egg whites.
• With clean beaters beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
• Add the lemon juice and beat until almost stiff.
• Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until very stiff and shiny.
• Very slowly and gradually, gently fold the custard into the stiff egg whites.
• Pour on top of the bottom pastry layer and place in the fridge.
• Make sure the pan is level on the shelf.
• When the gelatine is beginning to set, place the pastry squares on the top.
• Let the krémes chill thoroughly.
• Before serving generously sift icing sugar on the top.
• Cut the slices between the pastry squares.