Mmmhmmm Blejska Kremsnita [Krem-shnee-ta] is one of my favorite desserts! My mum was always making this Bled Cream Cake, and I remember eating it for breakfast, snack and dinner. 🙂
Kremsnita is a very popular dessert in several Central-European countries and there are many different variations. They can be topped with chocolate (Zagrebacka kremsnita) which is Croatian Cream cake, they can bi filled with strawberries (Presernova Kremsnita) which is Slovenian Strawberry Cream Cake named by a Slovenian national poet France Presern whose poem Zdravljica is our national anthem.
Some people also like to add rum, some make it with vanilla pudding… but they all include puff pastry base and custard cream. And the most important is that there is only one original Bled Cream Cake and it originates from my country, from Bled.
In a beautiful alpine town Bled we have a lake also called Bled and Kremsnita is one of the famous things beside the lake and its island and castle. This famous cream cake was actually invented by a Hungarian Istvan Lukacevic who was a head chef of the hotel Park in Bled, in 1953, and the recipe stayed the same till the current day. So if you want to try the original Kremsnita that is the place to go or just follow my recipe.
Anyway my favorite Kremsnita is my mum’s Kremsnita which is authentic Bled Kremsnita! And the other day I got this idea that I could try make Kremsnita by myself for the first time in my life. So I started looking for some recipes, some looked good, some were terrible, some comments under those recipes were good and some bad and then decide if you can! But I noticed that people were mostly saying that the cream wasn’t hard enough that everything spoiled and turned runny and some were also adding vanilla pudding, which I know it’s not in the original recipe at all.
Then after reading it all I wasn’t sure which recipe to go with and decided to wait for a day and check the recipes again. And that was the right decision! Because the next day my mum skyped me, so I had a chance to ask the master of Kremsnita and I’m so glad I did! There is one small secret how to make the custard cream right, we all want it to stay hard and not melt, right?! So the most important ingredient for this fluffy, but consistent custard cream is hidden in the recipe below and I’m challenging you to guess which of the ingredients is the one. You can let me know in the comments below.
So here is my mum’s and original Bled Kremsnita recipe:
For 9×13 inch baking pan you will need:
1 package (2 sheets) Puff pastry dough
4 1/3cups or 1 Liter Milk
1 medium size Heavy Cream (16oz)
1/3 cup Corn Starch
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 package (8g) or 1tbsp Vanilla Sugar (you can make your own – add vanilla bean into the jar with sugar and leave it there)
The Puff Pastry:
On floured surface roll the puff pastry doughs into 2 flat thin sheets a little bigger then the baking pan because they will shrink a little. Bake the first sheet on the baking pan turned upside down (you put the dough on top of the bottom of the pan which you turned upside down) and poke it with fork to make little holes so it won’t bubble up when baking. Bake the second pastry sheet in the baking pan and don’t forget to poke this one with fork too. Both go in the preheated oven set on 400F. When golden they are done. Now they have to cool completely before the cream goes on top.
The Custard Cream:
Pour 1 L milk into a big pot and take away 6 tablespoons of it that you will need for the custard cream. Boil the rest of the milk.
Now prepare: (use regular tablespoons, the ones you eat soup with it)
1) In a small bowl stir together corn starch (3 flat tablespoons) with 3 high (full) tablespoons sugar and add 6 tablespoons of cold milk.
2) In a separate bowl stir together 6 egg yolks, 3 high (full) tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
3) In larger bowl beat egg whites until stiff.
When milk starts boiling, remove from heat and whisk in the 1st mixture (corn starch with sugar & milk). Whisk or stir until smooth.
Now add the 2nd mixture (the egg yolks) – be very careful to stir constantly and pour in a little by little, so eggs don’t cook fast and curdle. When all the egg yolks are mixed with milk put the pot back on low heat. Keep stirring and cook until it starts getting firm and starts boiling. Let it boil lightly for about 3 minutes and keep stirring the whole time!
Carefully and slowly whisk in the beaten egg whites and make sure they are very stiff and that they don’t curdle. Add a little by little, spoon by spoon and stir each one completely before adding more. Cook for the next 7-11 minutes and keep stirring it. (When you don’t smell raw eggs anymore, it’s done.)
When the custard is cooked, pour over the pastry sheet you have inside the baking pan and let it cool.
Now whip the heavy cream to which you add a little sugar (by taste 1-2 tsp) and if you have Whip It to stabilize the cream.
When the custard cream is completely cooled (it can take up to an hour), spread the whipped heavy cream on top of it. Cover with the second pastry sheet – the one you baked on the upside down pan and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Put in the fridge to firm up for 3-4 hours.
And a little tip how to eat it nicely: 😉 Don’t try to cut right through one, they are manufactured to be quite uncooperative and you may end up with a mess! Instead, eat the top layer first and work your way down!Here is a short video of Kremsnita in Bled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE4eHN4jmXw