Poppy-seed delights

A collection of recipes that include the famous Purim filling.

Poppy-seed pastries (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Poppy-seed pastries
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Some people cannot imagine eating hamentashen filled with anything other than poppy seed filling, whereas other people can’t stand the texture and flavor of poppy seeds. We can all agree, however, that poppy seeds can make both savory and sweet pastries much more interesting. You can sprinkle them on top of breads or mix them into the batter of a yummy cake. The flavor that explodes in your mouth when you bite into a poppy seed is just spectacular.
Whether you’re using dense, heavy poppy seed filling, or sprinkling the seeds sparsely on top of baked goods, their flavor is wonderful. But make sure that you’re using fresh, high-quality poppy seeds. Below, you will find a number of recipes that include poppy seeds. If you don’t already have a stash at home, I highly recommend making the effort to go buy some so you can prepare one of these treats for your friends and family.
Ground poppy seeds do not retain their freshness for long, and can even become bitter. As a result, I recommend buying whole seeds and then grinding just the amount you need for a specific recipe each time. Another option is to store ground poppy seeds in the refrigerator or freezer.
Ground poppy seeds mixed with honey or brown sugar is a fantastic combination.
Makes 1 to 2 rolls.
1½ cups flour, sifted
¼ cup sugar
100 gr. butter
2 to 3 Tbsp. sour cream
1 level tsp., baking powder
1 egg yolk
¾ cup fresh poppy seeds, ground finely
½ to ¾ cup cookie crumbs
3 Tbsp. raisins
3 Tbsp. ground walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. rum or brandy
50 gr. butter, melted
2 to 3 tsp. powdered sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
Mix all the dough ingredients together until dough falls away from sides of bowl. (Add a little more flour if necessary.) Let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix all the filling ingredients together.
Roll out the dough into a ½-cm.-thick square on a floured work surface. Spoon the filling onto the dough on the side closer to you and then roll the dough into a roll. Place on a greased baking tray.
With a knife, make a number of indentations at an angle on top of the roll. Bake in an oven that was preheated to 180° for 25 minutes until golden brown.
After the pastry roll has cooled a little (but is still warm), sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool completely and then slice.
4 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into cubes
3 Tbsp. sugar
6 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1½ cups sugar
200 gr. poppy seeds, ground
100 gr. butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp. cornflour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup baking or gluten-free flour, sifted
If using a cupcake tray, oil spray or melted butter
½ cup almond slivers
Powdered sugar
½ cup honey or silan
Place apple cubes in a pot with 3 Tbsp. sugar. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain and smash apples.
With an electric mixer, whip egg whites on high speed. Gradually add sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks together with poppy seeds, butter, cornflour and vanilla.
Fold egg-white mixture into egg-yolk mixture. Add the flour and mix. Grease a muffin tray and then pour the batter into each muffin holder. Sprinkle almond slivers on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 180°. Let cool. Sprinkle powdered sugar, honey or silan on top of each muffin.
Makes 35 to 40 pieces, depending on size
3½ cups flour, sifted
25 gr. yeast
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
200 gr. butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 egg
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
2 cups poppy seeds, ground
50 gr. butter, cut into cubes
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp. silan (date syrup)
1 tsp. lemon peel, grated
¾ cup date spread
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
½ tsp. cinnamon
Egg wash
1 egg beaten with 2 drops of oil
Pour the flour into a bowl and then add the yeast, sugar, vanilla and butter. Mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. While mixing, add the egg, salt and milk. Continue mixing until smooth.
Cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes until it has doubled in volume. If you’re in a hurry, you can cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Separate the dough into three sections.
To prepare the filling, add the poppy seeds, butter, milk, silan, lemon peel and date spread to a pot. Cook over a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir often. Add the walnuts and cinnamon and mix well. Pour equal amounts of filling into 3 bowls.
Roll out the dough on a floured work surface until it’s 3 mm. thick. Cut out circles using a glass. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto each circle and then close dough in a half-moon shape or roll up into a crescent shape.
Arrange the pastries on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with egg wash and let the pastries rise for another 20 minutes in a warm place. Bake in an oven that was preheated to 180° for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Bake in a loaf pan.
¾ cup light spelt flour
1 packet baking powder
½ cup ground or whole poppy seeds
¼ cup coconut
¼ cup ground almonds
½ cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ cup demerara sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 packet vanilla sugar
Juice from 1½ oranges (about ¾ cup)
1 tsp. orange liqueur or brandy
2 Tbsp. any red-colored jelly
Powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, coconut, almonds and chocolate. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and gradually add the dry mixture. Mix well.
Grease the pan and pour in the batter. Flatten.
In a bowl, mix the jelly and then push teaspoons of it into the cake at random places. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.