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Easter Abroad: Polish shortcake and five unconventional fillings

My mother hates leftovers. She often threatens to cancel Easter celebrations because of the amount of food left after Easter breakfast. Yet, every single year she ends up cooking up a storm that would feed the family for a whole month. Because of her eagerness to feed an army of soldiers and outstanding cooking skills, I usually serve as a kitchen help (given that I’m in Poland): cutting, slicing, decorating and serving whatever she prepares.

While abroad, we gather with friends who didn’t go home to celebrate this day. Most of the people invited don’t really care about the reason behind the gathering. However, no one says “no” to a guilt-inducive feast and possibly also a boozy brunch. Two years ago, while hosting one of these Easter brunches in Amman, my house was full of unconventional Mazureks, a Polish shortcake and supposedly the flagship Polish Easter dessert. It’s often filled with caramel or a vanilla custard. I’m sharing with you some of the tuned-up recipes, which I developed a while ago. Datella with tahini is by far my favourite!

Shortcake:

1.5 cup all-purpose flour

0.5 cup starch

3 tbsp thick yogurt (preferably Greek)

250 g butter (room-temperature)

1 egg

50 g sugar

Pinch of salt

Combine flour, starch and butter and knead the dough until smooth. Wrap it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for about two hours.

After this time, take it out from the fridge, unwrap and knead again. Roll it out and transfer to a baking tray. Cover with baking paper and spread some beans or chickpea on top to prevent it from rising too much.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes at 180C or until light brown.

Take out from the oven and cool down. Top with one of the four fillings.

 

Datella + Tahini filling

1 cup datella (recipe) 

6 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)

100 g of roasted almond flakes

tahini

 

Mix datella and tahini and spread evenly on the pastry. Splash some additional tahini on top and finish with the almond flakes.

Prunes and Chocolate with Goji berries

400 g dried prunes
60 g of dark chocolate
about 1/2 to 2/3 cup water
goji berries (optional)

Place prunes in a pot, cover with water and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir in chocolate until it dissolves. Afterwards, transfer the filling to a blender and pulse until smooth. Spread over the shortcake pastry and finish with goji berries.

Date and almonds filling

6-7 tablespoons of datella from this recipe

almonds for garnishing

Spread datella on the shortcake pastry and finish with the almond flakes.

Orange-apricot filling
400 g dried apricots
3 oranges, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup water + more if needed

Place apricots in a pot, cover with water and cook on the low heat until soft. Transfer to a blender, add oranges and pulse until smooth. In case the filling is too thick, add more water. Once cooled down, spread on the pastry and finish with almonds or chocolate.

Date-Orange Filling
400 g dates, pitted
2 1/2 oranges
1/4 cup water
Dark chocolate, melted
almond flakes

Place dates in a pot, cover with water and cook on the low heat until soft. Transfer to a blender, add oranges and pulse until smooth. In case the filling is too thick, add more water. Once cooled down, spread on the pastry and finish with almonds or chocolate.


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