For as far as I can remember my Aunt made this custard filled cake that has what seemed like 100's of layers. Unbelievably good. 57
or more, use only enough to make a soft dough
2% fat, cold
or other spirit or liquor as desired
of one lemon
fresh ground is best, just a bit
Dough for layers:
In a large bowl cream together the butter, eggs and sour cream. Add the salt.
In a small bowl add the baking soda and vinegar and stir. Wait until bubbling subsides and then add to the bowl and mix together thoroughly.
Work in the flour ½ cup at a time. Do not overwork. Continue adding just enough flour to create a smooth and soft dough that is not sticky.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. I use a scale. Place dough balls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Prepare the custard filling:
In a cast iron or thick bottomed stainless steel pot heat the milk to boiling over low to medium low heat. Be careful as it is easy to burn the milk which will taint the flavor throughout. You may wish to microwave the milk in a glass measuring cup to help avoid burning. Heat just to the boiling point.
Meanwhile, add the egg yolks and sugar to a medium mixing bowl. Beat together with a pinch of salt until pale yellow.
Mix in the 4 tablespoons of flour.
Add some of the hot milk (½ cup) while quickly mixing in to temper the egg yolks and not cook them. Add another ½ cup of hot milk to temper some more.
Then, while continuously whisking the pot of hot milk slowly add the tempered egg yolk mixture.
Bring just barely to the boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes in order to cook the flour.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in the cup of cold milk.
Add the cognac (or other liquor of choice), vanilla, lemon zest and pinch of nutmeg.
Add the ½ cup of butter and mix in.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the custard (to avoid creating a skin) and set aside to cool.
Bake the layers (will take about 1 hour or so):
Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃).
Leave dough balls in the refrigerator until ready to use.
On a well floured surface flatten and roll out the dough ball to about a 9 inch circle. Use a pie plate or cake pan as a guide to trim to a nice circle.
Gently roll the dough circle onto the rolling pin and transfer to an un-greased baking sheet.
Dock the circle of dough all over by piercing it with a fork. This will help prevent bubbles from forming when baking.
Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes until very lightly golden. Watch constantly. DO NOT OVERBAKE. The layers will bake very quickly and you don't want any browning to occur.
Remove the layer from the oven and set aside.
Repeat for the remaining layers.
On the last layer bake a few extra minutes until very well browned. Reserve for making the topping.
Assemble the cake:
Place one layer on a serving place or cake stand.
Add about 1/15th of custard and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
Repeat until all layers have been used, finishing with a think layer of custard on top.
Crush the reserved browned layer with a rolling pin to create course crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the cake.
Trim off any uneven edges if needed.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Make sure you have lots of guests as this cake will only keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Every 3 to 4 layers spread a thin layer of raspberry jam (heated to make it easier to spread) instead of the custard.
Top the cake with toasted slivered almonds.
It seems like a lot of work but it is more than worth the effort and will guarantee rave reviews. Perfect if you are looking wow your guests and bask in the radiance of numerous "Oh my god, that is soooooooo delicious".