Mazurek- a traditional Polish Easter pie
The mazurek cake is said to be a variation on a Turkish recipe, and has been a firm element of Polish Easter tradition since the 17th century. 'Mazurek' is also the name of a traditional dance, and Mazury (Mazuria in English) is a region in the North-East of Poland, green with forests and blue with lakes.
As usual, the pluralisation gets tricky when translated. Mazurek is one cake, mazurki are many.
Here is how to make some mazurki:
500 grams of flour
250 grams of butter
150 grams of powder sugar
3 egg yolks
Mix the flour and butter until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Mix in the sugar and egg yolks until you have a dough. If it is too dry, add a little cream.
You can use an electric blender.
Wrap up in cellophane, refrigerate for about an hour.
This is your pie and cookie dough. Roll it out thin, tuck it into a pie pan, and be careful that it doesn't burn in the oven. And let the crusts cool before you take them out of the pans and pour in the filling.
The filling can be jam, caramel, kaymak... our family standard is chocolate, and you're on your own there- it's a matter of preference. The general rule is to sit a pot inside a saucepan of simmering water, and melt down a combination of dark and milk chocolate. You can add nutella, you can add fudge spread- just be careful that it doesn't get too hot and start clumping.
Pour it into the pie crusts, shake them gently to spread it evenly. And then start decorating.
Done? Congratulations! But you can't eat any of it until after the Resurrection!
Since the mazurek was supposed to be the crown of the feast which the family would wait for all through Lent, the idea is to make it as pretty as possible. As a child I used to play with cookies and that horrific coloured icing which comes in little tubes and requires samsonic force to be squeezed out...until somewhere around 2007 I discovered seeds.
Seeds look classy. They look sophisticated. They look rustic, quaint, traditional.