Hungarian krémes

by | Jun 3, 2015 | Desserts

Mille-feuille, mille foglie, Napoleon, vanilla slice, Crèmeschnitte, krémes – several names, but one recipe. They all refer to a much-loved dessert eaten all over the world which is made up of puff pastry and crème pâtissière. There is only a difference in the number of pastry layers and in the topping. The top pastry layer is usually dusted with powdered sugar, but it can be glazed with icing or fondant, as well. The exact origin of the mille-feuille is unknown, but it’s sure that it was later improved by Marie-Antoine Carême. Some books mention Szeged, a Hungarian town, as the place where the form of the dessert (not the pastry itself) was invented.

This lovely dessert is known as krémes in Hungary; it’s made up of two thin layers of puff pastry and one layer of vanilla pastry cream. Opinions vary on the density of the pastry cream: there are those who prefer to add small quantity of flour or starch, others insist on that the cream has to be heavy and solid like concrete. In my family the winning consistency is soft, but not fluid, so I add a little more flour. Following the instructions of my great-grandmother’s recipe I add butter, too, to the pastry cream while it is hot, because butter makes the custard smooth and much tastier.

As regards the pastry, homemade always beats pre-packed, so if you have some free hours it’s worth making your own puff pastry. In this case you can be sure that your laminated dough will contain enough amount of butter. But, of course, in lack of time it’s not a devilish idea to use pre-made and frozen puff pastry, it will also serve the purpose.

Hungarian krémes
Hungarian krémes – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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