Also known as Papal cream cake, kremówka is a deliciously creamy traditional Polish dessert. Like Australia's favourite, the vanilla slice, it has a creamy filling sandwiched between two layers of golden, flaky pastry.
- 450 g (1 lb) puff pastry (thawed, if frozen)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- 4½ tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- pinch of coarse salt
- 3 cups full cream (whole) milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 340 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 42 g
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
- icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 2 hours + 6 hours or overnight
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) with racks in upper and lower third position and line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats. Divide puff pastry into two equal pieces. Sprinkle work surface with granulated sugar and roll out each piece of pastry to a 23 cm x 33 cm (9 in x 13 in) rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and bake, rotating halfway, until puffed and deep golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whisk together ¾ cup granulated sugar, cornflour and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks in a glass measuring cup. Add milk mixture to the saucepan, along with the 42g butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 1 minute. Remove pastry cream from heat.
- Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Place remaining butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla bean seeds and cooled pastry cream, ½ cup at a time. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Place one rectangle of puff pastry on a cutting board and spread with pastry cream mixture. Top with second puff pastry rectangle and press gently to adhere. Loosely cover and refrigerate to set, at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. To serve, slice with a serrated knife into 7.5 cm (3 in) squares. Dust with icing (confectioners’) sugar.