Thin cinnamon-honey biscuits layered with vanilla cream and jam make for an authentic Croatian pie. This crisp and filled dessert is a wonderful finger food at gatherings.
By Tamara Novakoviç
This cake is a staple in traditional Croatian cuisine and is called a pie, although it doesn’t resemble the notion of a pie in some other parts of the world. To us, this is a pie: made of several thin biscuit layers alternating with filling.
The dough is made with eggs, flour, butter or often lard, sugar, baking powder or soda and in this case, honey. Because of honey, the dough tends to harden pretty fast so I advise you to work it quickly (it doesn’t require resting). I added some cinnamon to it as it pairs nicely with honey. The filling is mild and consists of cooked milk and vanilla cream, but it is combined with tangy jam in between the layers. All together it makes this pie a well-rounded cake.
- 15.8 oz (450 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 0.7 oz (20 g) lard (or butter)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp milk
- 5.2 oz (150 g) sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) milk
- 5.2 oz (150 g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 7.05 oz (200 g) butter
- plum jam
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Make the filling first. Combine most of the milk with sugar, vanilla extract and heat until it boils. Combine the remaining milk separately with cornstarch. Add to the boiling milk and cook on low heat constantly stirring, until it thickens. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool to room temperature.
- Beat softened butter until fluffy and add to the cream. Combine well.
- Prepare the dough. Combine one egg, lard or butter, honey, sugar and milk in a saucepan. Heat until all ingredients dissolve.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda. Add melted mixture to the flour mixture, together with one remaining egg. Knead until it forms into a dough.
- Divide it into two equal parts. Roll each one out onto a lightly floured surface, as thin as possible.
- Place a parchment paper on a large baking tray. Place each rolled out dough onto it. Cut each dough in half.
- Preheat oven to 356 F (180 C). Bake each piece for 7-10 minutes (depends on the oven, it should get a nice golden color, but stay pale.) Make sure not to over bake it, it will be too dry. Let cool completely and cut each piece into two equal parts.
- Assemble: place the first biscuit layer on a serving tray. Spread ½ of the filling evenly. Cover with the second biscuit layer. Spread jam over it and cover with the third biscuit layer. Spread remaining filling over it and cover with fourth and final biscuit layer.
- Let it rest in a cool place overnight. The following day, dust with powdered sugar, cut into squares and serve.
Tamara Novakovic is a passionate self-taught cook, food blogger, freelance food writer and photographer behind bite-my-cake.blogspot.com. Her life journey has led her through Faculty of Humanities in Zagreb, Croatia to discovering passion for making cakes. She is currently a weekly food columnist for Croatian newspaper V magazine and food magazine Repete.