Two layers of puff pastry filled with a heavenly creamy vanilla cream.
The creamiest vanilla cream pie you can imagine! I have no words for this pie, you definitely have to make it to see what I am talking about. I can say it is creamy – the creamiest -but that word will still not be able to actually describe the feeling this vanilla cream leaves on your tongue, the sweetness and delicacy of the taste, that feeling of utter satisfaction you get when eating this pie.
Vanilla Cream Pie – The Best Romanian Cremsnit
I have made lots and lots of cakes and pies or desserts during the past ten years, but I can tell you honestly, this is one of my favorites. Top three and there is no particular order in this top three, they are all equally exquisite. It is a shame that although I knew the name and the look of this pie my whole life, it was only recently that I have made and ate it for the first time. But there is no going back now, I will make this pie every chance I get.
Lucky it is so easy and quick to make! Baking with puff pastry (the already made one) is fast and convenient and making the vanilla cream is a piece of cake. The pie only needs a few hours time in the fridge to set, but otherwise nothing to worry about. Just give it a try, you will love it!
The only thing I have to warn you about is that the pie is a bit difficult to cut. The puff pastry on top of an immensely soft and creamy filling will make a mess when cutting. I use an electric knife to cut this pie. If you don’t have one I recommend cutting the upper puff pastry sheet before placing it on the cream or even before baking it. You can cut one of the unbaked pastry sheets into small squares and bake the squares, which you will then place on top of the filling.
I chose to post the recipe for this pie not only because I think it to be a suitable recipe for your Easter brunch or lunch of coffee time in the afternoon, but also because today is my birthday. So what better time to post my favorite pie? 🙂 I wish I could have a slice of this right now actually… But as we are on holiday, visiting friends in Denmark, there will be no baking for me today. I am not sure what we are actually going to do today, but we are in Aarhus, which happens to be the Europe’s capital of culture 2017, so I guess there will be plenty of things to see.
- 5 eggs, separated
- pinch of salt
- 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ scant ¾ cups corn starch
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste
- zest of ½ organic lemon, optional
- 1 liter/ 33.8 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cups full-fat milk
- 200 g/ 7 oz butter
- 2 sheets of puff pastry, about 40x24 cm/ 15x10 inches (a bit more or less is OK)
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, incorporating each yolk carefully and slowly. Add the corn starch, vanilla extract and finely grated lemon zest and incorporate with the help of a plastic spatula.
In the meantime heat the milk well. Do that in a jug, it will be easier for you to pour the milk over the egg mixture. Or transfer the milk to a jug after heating it.
Very slowly pour the milk over the egg mixture. Keep the jug in the left hand if you are right-handed and the electrical mixer in the right hand. Pour in a thin stream while mixing.
Transfer the egg-milk mixture back to the jug/pan where you heated the milk. Place on a low-heat and bring it to a simmer while whisking continuously. It will be like making a pudding, this is also the consistency you will have to reach. So keep whisking (I do that with a regular whisk this time) until you get a thick pudding, it will not take long. Make sure to reach the bottom and the walls of your pan with the whisk regularly to avoid the pudding catching at the bottom.
Take off the heat and add the cubed butter, 1 or 2 small pieces at a time, while whisking continuously to help them melt and incorporate in the pudding.
Leave to cool for a while, the cream should be lukewarm when you spread it on the pastry.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius/ 430 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the puff pastry sheets one after another according to the packet's instructions or until golden brown. It took me about 12 minutes but keep and eye on them and read the instructions. Leave to cool completely.
Place one pastry sheet on a rectangular serving plate and spread the vanilla cream evenly on top. Place the second pastry sheet on top and press gently. Refrigerate for one or two hours and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. Cut the pieces with an electric knife. If you don't have an electric knife I recommend cutting the upper puff pastry sheet before placing it on the cream or even before baking it. You can cut one of the unbaked pastry sheets into small squares and bake the squares, which you will then place on top of the filling.
The cremsnit is best served on the day it is made, this way the pastry will still be crunchy. It is still delicious the next day (the children and I fought over the leftovers), but the pastry will become rather soggy.
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