Mazurek, also known as mazurka, is a flat Polish cake made with yeast or nonyeast doughs and topped with any combination of almond paste, preserves, dried fruits, nuts, meringues, and sometimes left plain. The one thing they have in common is they are rarely over 1 inch in height.
A mazurka also is the word for a Polish folk dance, a country sparrow and someone from Mazur in North Central Poland.
Traditionally served at Easter, this pastry is so delicious and easy to make, it now appears at tables year-round.
View this photo gallery of How to Make Royal Mazurek.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8 servings Royal Mazurek
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ounces (6 tablespoons) ground blanched almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large hard-cooked egg yolks, sieved
- 1 large raw egg yolk
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- 6 ounces apricot preserves
- 6 ounces raspberry or cherry preserves
- Confectioners' sugar
- Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- By hand, stir in almonds, zest, flour, making sure to measure flour correctly, and hard-cooked egg yolks.
- Add raw egg yolk, salt and cinnamon, and mix into a smooth dough. This entire process, from step 1, can be done in a food processor, if you prefer.
- Place dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut off 1/3 dough and return, wrapped, to the refrigerator. Roll out 2/3 dough and place on an 8-inch-by-11-inch tart pan with a removal bottom or a small sheet pan. Pierce or "dock" the dough with the tines of a fork. Using pastry brush, egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 teaspoon water) dough.
- Roll remaining 1/3 dough and cut into 1/4-inch strips. Arrange strips lattice-style over dough. Brush lattice strips with egg wash. Bake for 20-30 mimutes, or until light golden brown and crisp.
- Allow to cool completely. Place pastry on a serving plate and spoon fruit preserves alternately into the open spaces of the lattice work. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar.
"Despite the troubles with the dough and its texture, the taste was very nice. This was, by far, the MOST difficult dough I have ever worked with! It did not come together after adding the egg yolk. It wouldn't even hold together after being squeezed by hand. I had to add the rest of the egg to bring the crumbles together, then KNEAD it like a bread dough to distribute the moisture. Rolling it out was frustrating and utterly impossible. I had to press the dough into the pan and use fragments of pressed-out strips to make the lattice. All the extra handling made the dough very tough when it baked. It could only be called flaky because it crumbled like concrete! I am wondering if this might have worked better if it were approached like a traditional pie crust, with cold butter cut into the dry ingredients. I've never heard of a pie crust that calls for creamed butter and sugar, and now I might know why."
Anjali makes a good point. This IS a difficult dough to work with, but it is a traditional recipe. The dough on this pastry is not meant to be like pie dough. It is more of a bread dough. As you can see from my step-by-step instructions, I was able to roll the dough. It IS delicate and takes a little coaxing, but as Anjali herself says, the flavor is very good. I'm interested to know if anyone else has this problem.
Barbara Rolek, Your Guide to Eastern European Food