I thought I was all done with baking for this season and then wanted to do something special for Christmas Eve. The result is this Swedish dessert called Tusenbladstärta that I modified just a tiny bit to make it red & white for Christmas. It is made in parts and then assembled several hours or overnight before serving. The original recipe is found in Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook, p. 314-315. I have quadrupled this recipe in the past and made the rounds larger than 7 inches when serving a large group of people but it is rich and this small version can be cut into 12 pieces. Although it was eaten the last time before I could try it, I think it would freeze well too.
¾ cup butter 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 4 Tablespoons very cold water 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix butter, flour, salt & cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle in the water and stir with a fork until the pieces start to adhere to each other. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide ball into 6 parts. Roll each part into circles of approximately 7” (the size of a dessert/salad plate. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prick the pastry rounds with a fork and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar. Bake each circle on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack or paper towels.
¼ cup sugar 1 Tablespoon cornstarch ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup milk 1 egg, slightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup whipping cream, chilled
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a 1 quart saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook over medium to medium high heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 min. Remove from heat and stir in the slightly beaten egg. Blend and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 min. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cover and let the custard mix cool a little before putting in the refrigerator and cooling completely (about one hour). When the custard is cold, whip the cream until stiff. Fold the cream into the custard.
1 cup thick Applesauce 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the serving plate or dish and place one of the round pastry pieces on the sugar. Put 1/3 cup of the applesauce mix on the top of the first layer. Place second round on top and put 1/3 to ½ cup custard mix on the top of this layer. Alternate ending with the custard on top so it looks a little like frosting. Decorate with more powdered sugar sprinkled on, almond slices and at the last minute before serving add maraschino cherries. Adding the cherries too soon will result in the red bleeding into the custard, which is fine if that is the look you are trying to achieve but if the separate colors of cream/white and red are desired don’t put the cherries on too soon.