Squares of Vanilla Custard Cream

While eating without making a complete mess is a little tricky, this dessert beats any luscious layer cake. The crunchy layers of puff pastry and cold vanilla custard are worth any minimal cleaning.

It’s the whole deal, as you can see. It’s light and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and it’s all sandwiched between two crisp bites of puff pastry. (An additional coating of powdered sugar doesn’t hurt either.)

It’s based on a famous pastry in Central and Eastern Europe called ‘kremsnite.’ It goes by various names (kremsnita, cremeschnitte…), but they all mean ‘cream slice.’ And we’re confident they’re all delectable.

Our version is nearly no-bake, with a fast vanilla custard on top of an airy layer of whipped cream. The puff pastry is what makes these slices so unique.

Two sheets of puff pastry are baked for 10 minutes and then placed aside to cool while you work on the contents.

You cut the other sheet into squares before laying it on top and sprinkling it with powdered sugar – this makes serving MUCH easier. It’s chilled in the fridge for a few hours, but it’s straightforward for such a lovely pastry!
A word about the rum: we like how it cuts through any remaining egginess in the custard, but it’s completely optional, so leave it out if you want.

2 thawed sheets of puff pastry
To make the filling:
4 quarts whole milk
granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups
1-quart all-purpose flour
8 separated eggs
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Rum (optional).
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting

Heat the temperature of the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet, bake each puff pastry sheet for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Bring three cups of milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, vanilla, rum (if using), and 1 cup milk in a mixing bowl.

When the milk has reached a boil, fold in the egg yolk mixture and stir slowly until thickened. Take the pan off the heat. In a large mixing basin, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until firm peaks form, then slowly fold them into the custard mixture.

One of the puff pastry sheets should be placed on the bottom of a 913-inch baking dish. Spread the custard evenly over the top. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until cool and stiff.

When the custard is cold, whip the whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until firm. Spread evenly over the custard.

Place the second pastry sheet, cut into 15 squares, on top of the whipped cream. Return to the refrigerator for another 2 hours to chill.
Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!