Holiday in: Purim spiel

Make these traditional desserts with poppy seeds.

March 2, 2015 16:25
Cheese and poppy seed pie

Cheese and poppy seed pie. (photo credit: BOAZ LAVI)


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Eating poppy seeds on Purim is a tradition. Some sources say that the reason is that while in the king’s palace, Esther ate seeds in order to eat only kosher food. For us, it is a good enough reason to go back to beloved traditional recipes of poppy seed-filled desserts.

Pastry chefs Rosella Yona and Amir Porat of the Biscotti bakery in Bnei Brak are very busy these days baking for Purim. We caught them in the middle of the holiday preparations and asked for their favorite poppy-seed recipes for Purim.

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For the crumble base
✔ 250 gr. petit beurre cookies (½ pack)
✔ 100 gr. butter For the poppy-seed filling
✔ 3 ⁄ 4 cup milk
✔ 1½ cups ground poppy seeds
✔ 3 ⁄ 4 cup honey
✔ 50 gr. walnuts
✔ 50 gr. (½ cup) raisins
✔ Zest of ½ orange
✔ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
✔ 50 gr. butter For the cheese filling
✔ 4 eggs ✔ 150 gr. ( 3 ⁄ 4 cup) sugar
✔ 250 gr. 5% white soft cheese (1 con - tainer)
✔ 250 gr. cream cheese
✔ 200 gr. sour cream (1 container)
✔ 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
✔ Zest of ½ lemon For the topping
✔ 250 ml. (1 container) cream
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar To prepare the base: Melt the butter.

Crush the cookies in a food processor and mix with the melted butter. Transfer the mixture into a 26-cm. springform baking pan in an even layer and press firmly at the bottom. Refrigerate the base.

To prepare the poppy-seed filling: In a medium pot, bring milk to a gentle boil, add the poppy seeds and mix until all the milk is absorbed.

Reduce the heat and add honey, nuts, raisins, butter, orange zest and vanilla extract. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Let cool and spread on the base, pressing it down.

To prepare the cheese filling: In a mixer bowl with the whipping arm, mix eggs, lemon zest and sugar on low speed for 3 minutes until sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch and mix until smooth. Add the cheese and sour cream and mix until smooth. Pour over the poppy seed layer.


Heat the oven to 160° and bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn oven off and leave the pie in the oven with door closed for 15 more minutes.

To make the topping: Whip the cream and sugar into a soft foam and spread on the cooled cake.

For the poppy-seed layer
✔ 6 eggs, separated
✔ 1 cup sugar
✔ 160 gr. ground poppy seeds
✔ Zest of 1 lemon For the almond cream
✔ 100 gr. white almonds
✔ 75 gr. butter
✔ ½ cup sugar
✔ 1 egg + 1 egg white For the chocolate glaze
✔ 100 ml. cream (¼ cup + 1 Tbsp.)
✔ 100 gr. bitter chocolate Whip the egg yolks with ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until the foam is firm. Add the lemon zest and fold the two masses together, while gradually adding the poppy seeds.

To prepare the almond cream: In a food processor, crush the almonds and add but - ter and sugar, and then add the egg and egg white and whizz until smooth.

Pour the almond cream into a greased 26-cm. round springform baking pan and smooth the layer. Then pour in the poppy seed-batter and place the pan in a preheat - ed 180° oven.

Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry.

Let the cake cool before glazing.

To make the chocolate glaze: Pour the cream into a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat off and add the chocolate. Mix until chocolate is melted.

Use hot on the cooled cake.

This is a traditional yeast cake with poppy seed filling.

For the yeast pastry
✔ 3 eggs
✔ 260 gr. ( 3 ⁄ 4 cup) sugar
✔ 150 gr. soft butter
✔ 500 gr. flour
✔ 1 tsp. baking powder
✔ Pinch salt
✔ 1 tsp. dry yeast
✔ Zest of 1 lemon
✔ 2 Tbsp. milk
✔ 1 tsp. anise seeds (optional) For the poppy-seed filling
✔ ½ cup milk
✔ 150 gr (2 cups) ground poppy seeds
✔ 1 ⁄ 3 cup honey
✔ 50 gr. walnuts
✔ ½ cup raisins
✔ Zest of ½ orange
✔ 1 tsp. vanilla
✔ 50 gr. butter

To prepare the pastry: In a mixer bowl, whip the eggs and the sugar together on medium speed for 10 minutes. Change the arm into a kneading arm, add the butter and mix for 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and dry yeast and knead until batter is smooth.

Gradually add milk and lemon zest while mixing, about 2 more minutes.

Divide the pastry into three 400-gr.

parts and transfer to the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Roll out each part into a 3-mm. thick round.

To prepare poppy seed filling: Bring milk to a gentle boil, add the poppy seeds and mix weekend 10 February 26, 2015 until milk is absorbed. Lower the heat and add the honey, nuts, raisins, orange zest, vanilla and butter. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

To arrange the dish: Place 1 round of the pastry in a lightly greased 20 x 30 cm. baking pan. Spread the nut filling on one of the pastry rounds. Place the second round on top and spread the poppy seed filling on it. Place the third layer on top and sprinkle the anise seeds on top (optional).

Leave the cake to rise at room temperature for 3 hours.

Heat oven to 160° and bake for 40 minutes.

Makes 2 roulades For the pastry
✔ 500 gr. flour
✔ 100 gr. butter
✔ 2 egg yolks
✔ 1 pack vanilla sugar
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar
✔ ½ pack dry yeast
✔ ½ container sour cream
✔ Zest of 1 lemon For the poppy-seed filling
✔ ½ cup milk
✔ 150 gr. ground poppy seeds
✔ 1 ⁄ 3 cup honey
✔ ½ cup walnuts
✔ ½ cup raisins
✔ Zest of ½ orange
✔ 1 tsp. vanilla
✔ 50 gr. butter

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