Krémes (pronounced “krem-esh”) is a beloved Hungarian pastry sold in practically every cukrászda (pastry shop) in Budapest. Hungarians make special trips to their local shop to enjoy some, similar to our trips to the ice cream shop here in the U.S. Our krémes features delectable vanilla bean pastry cream, lightened with soft meringue (egg whites whipped to soft peaks with sugar), set between three layers of flaky, golden brown, buttery puff pastry, and finally dusted with powdered sugar. When you eat it, the creamy, smooth vanilla filling lusciously oozes out between the pastry layers. Here’s what Hungarian food writer András Szántó has said about the popular pastry: “To know a Hungarian is to know someone who takes dessert very seriously. . . Nothing embodies this more fully than the krémes: a quivering quadrangle of vanilla crème, sandwiched between layers of crisp mille-feuille and finished with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. The krémes is dessert stripped to the essentials. It’s usually consumed on its own, not after a meal. Best to order before noon, when cream and crust are both fresh, their contrasting textures clearly discernible.” To get the full krémes experience you’ll either have to go to Budapest or come to the Bakehouse.
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