• Yafa Hadar's Cremeschnitte. Photo: Adi Shilon.
    Yafa Hadar's Cremeschnitte. Photo: Adi Shilon.
  • Yafa Hadar. Photo courtesy of the family
    Yafa Hadar. Photo courtesy of the family
  • Yafa Hadar's Cremeschnitte. Photo: Adi Shilon.
    Yafa Hadar's Cremeschnitte. Photo: Adi Shilon.
Recipe

Savta Yafa Hadar’s Cremeschnitte

Their favorite dish: Yafa Hadar loves good wine, good food and old-fashioned cremeschnitte. Adi Shilon makes a recipe inspired by her

Yafa is the grandmother we all want. It is impossible to see her smile without falling head over heels in love and admiration for this larger-than-life woman.

Yafa was born in Israel 85 years ago. She is always excited to tell people that she was there when the state was formed. At the age of 18, she joined the Nahal army corp and was in the Garinim (Seeds), a unit dedicated to civil service which established many kibbutzim in the south. She came to Kibbutz Nir Oz 60 years ago, with her then partner and their three children. Much has changed since then, and today, she has 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Her great-grandchildren are the light of her eye. She is excited for every new picture of them and shows them off to anyone with a willing ear. Yafa likes classical music and Andrea Bocelli. Last year she went to his concert and was as excited as a 16-year-old girl. She is a fan of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team and passed her love of the game and the team on to the whole family. She also follows soccer – she likes Barcelona -and is always updated on the games and outcomes. Yafa is a bookworm, any trip out of the kibbutz must end at Stimatsky, from which she returns with a pile of new books, enough for a week at most. She has a huge library at home. At some point she stopped keeping track of what she had, so you can find several copies of the same book among the shelves. Yafa is the cool grandma, who’ll take shots at family meals, orders Thai takeaway – because that’s what the grandchildren like – and buys the most expensive pajamas. She likes good wine, good food and old fashioned cremeschnitte. She just wants to enjoy the good life, even on days when she doesn’t feel so good.

Yafa Hadar was kidnapped by Hamas from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7th. Tamir, her eldest grandson, went out that day to defend the kibbutz and was also kidnapped.

After 49 days in captivity, Yafa Hadar was returned.

Ingredients for Cremeschnitte

For the cream:

  • 5 eggs separated
  • a pinch Salt
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) Sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (100 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract good quality
  • grated lemon peel from one lemon
  • 4 cups (1 liter) milk
  • 7 oz (200 grams) butter cold, cut into cubes

For the phyllo layers:

  • 6-8 phyllo dough sheets thawed
  • 1.75-2.75 oz (50-80 grams) butter melted
  • 1 egg white to brush

To serve:

  • confectioner's sugar

Instructions

Prepare the cream:

  • 1. Beat the 5 egg whites with the salt. When a foam begins to form, add all the sugar slowly, while whipping until you obtain a stable and shiny foam.

  • 2. Add the egg yolks to the white one at a time and mix gently until combined.

  • 3. Sift in the cornstarch and also add the vanilla and lemon zest. Mix until combined.

  • 4. In the meantime, bring the milk just to a boil. Stream the milk into the egg mixture slowly while mixing. Return the mixture back to the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a thick pudding texture. It takes about 4 minutes. It'll be hard to see because of the foam, so you have to rely on touch.

  • 5. Remove from the heat and add the butter gradually, while stirring. Cool to room temperature.

Prepare the phyllo layers:

  • 6. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) degrees.

  • 7. Place a sheet of phyllo on a work surface, spread with butter, place another sheet on it and continue like this with all the sheets.

  • 8. Spread the top layer with egg white, cut the dough lengthwise and cut half of it into rectangles of the desired size. CUT ONLY HALF.

  • 9. Place the layers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there isn't enough room, divide on two sheets and bake each separately. Bake for about 8 minutes until the golden brown. Chill completely.

Assemble:

  • 10. Place half of the baked and cooled dough in a mold that fits in the refrigerator.

  • 11. Spread the cream in an even layer on top and arrange the rectangles on top, one on top of the other, until they look like a whole half separated by small slits.

  • 12. Put in the fridge to chill for two hours. Cut according to the rectangles and dust with a generous amount of confectioner's sugar. It is best served the same day.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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