As part of my Birthday Month celebrations, I bake myself a birthday cake as a Special Dish for the Week:
Makowiec Poppy Seed Cake
I use my mother’s recipe and find some ready made poppy seed filling in a local ethnic food store.
This dessert is quite sweet, so small portions are advised.
I serve it with loose leaf mint tea, which also cuts the sweetness of the makowiec.
And eating it by candlelight is highly advised simply for the ambiance factor.
The ingredients include:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 lb butter (soft)
- 1 tbsp sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 1 can of poppy seed filling, prepared with honey, raisins and candied orange peel (called “bakalie” in Polish)
I mix together the dry ingredients first, and add the liquid ingredients next (leaving the poppy seed filling for later). I kneed the shortbread-type pastry and divide it into 2 portions, refrigerating one portion for about 20 minutes.
I grease a pan adding a dusting of flour or breadcrumbs to avoid the bottom pastry from sticking to the pan.
I press the one half portion of the pastry evenly on the bottom of the baking dish, piercing it with a fork.
I bake this layer at 350oF for 10 minutes.
When partially baked, I spread the poppy seed filling evenly on the bottom crust.
I use a large grater to crumble the now chilled 2nd pastry portion on the top in an even layer.
I return the full cake to the oven and bake it at 350oF for 20-30 min until golden brown on the surface.