Custard Cream Pie Slices – delicate melt-in-your-mouth dessert consisting of three thin shortbread crusts filled with two layers of custard filling; the next day (if you can wait that long) flavors merge to perfection.
It breaks my heart to post this recipe for Custard Cream Pie Slices. My mom was famous for this incredible cake and ever since she’s gone, 5 years ago, I didn’t have strength to make it. Recently one of my aunts told me she would love to eat it, so last weekend I made it for her.
Custard Cream Pie Slices (Croatian Krem Pita) is an amazing blend of three thin shortbread crusts filled with two layers of custard filling (pastry cream). First day you make it (sometimes I can’t wait and have to try it while it is still warm) you can see and taste distinct layers. You will hear a slight crunch as your knife cuts into it. But next day crusts soak up some liquid from filling which makes the filling a little bit thicker while all flavors merge to perfection. I have not yet met any person who tried this dessert and didn’t like it.
More custard recipes
I usually avoid recipes that require rolling pin, but this one is certainly worth the trouble. My mom was so skillful that she could make it in 30 minutes. I’m not like that at all and that is why I’m using little tricks that help me in the procedure. For example, the most tricky part of this recipe is to transfer delicate dough onto a baking sheet, as it can easily break. I’ve found out that the easiest way to do it is to take a sheet of baking paper, mark dimensions of your baking pan on it and roll the dough on the baking paper itself so that you get the dough as large as needed. You can even cut the dough on the side where it turns out too long and “patch” it in corners – it will not be visible afterwards because filling will nicely cover it all. Place the dough together with baking paper on 9×13″ (23×33 cm) baking sheet (or larger). Baked crusts can also easily break if you don’t handle them gently, but you needn’t worry, as well. You can patch it all with filling, too.
Custard Cream Pie Slices should be kept in refrigerator because cooked filling contains 6 whole eggs. To my amazement, this dessert freezes well (I always thought custard would separate, but it doesn’t). You just need to thaw it at room temperature for a couple of hours. Just before serving, sprinkle Custard Cream Pie Slices with some powdered sugar and, if you like, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
- SHORTBREAD CRUSTS:
- 450 g pastry flour* (1 lb; about 4 1/4 cups)
- 250 g butter or margarine (2 sticks + 5 tsp)
- 100 g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 whole egg
- a pinch of baking powder
- CUSTARD FILLING:
- 1 liter milk (4 cups + 4 Tbsp)
- 6 eggs separated
- 300 g granulated sugar (1 1/2 cup)
- 80 g all-purpose flour (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp rum
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Using all ingredients, make a dough. If necessary, add 1-2 Tbsp milk.
Divide the dough in 3 parts. Roll each part of the dough to 9x13" (23x33 cm). Bake at 350 F (175 C) until pale golden.
Scald the milk.
Mix egg yolks with sugar, flour, rum and vanilla extract. Slowly add hot milk, while mixing constantly. Place the bowl on top of double boiler and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Using spatula or a spoon, gently fold beaten egg whites into cooked mixture.
Place one shortbread crust on the bottom of 9x13" pan. Pour half of the custard filling over it. Cover the custard with second shortbread crust and pour remaining filling over it. Top with the third shortbread crust.
Cover with a tray and put some kind of weight (about 1-2 lb or 1/2-1 kg) on top - a can or a carton of milk or juice - to lightly press layers together. Cool in refrigerator over night.
Cut into cubes or slices and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
*If you don’t have pastry flour, you can easily make your own pastry flour by mixing half cake flour and half all purpose flour.