Szarlotka with Apples & Red Fruits

  • Szarlotka is the word my mother used for (apple) crumble.
  • In some parts of Poland szarlotka is the word used for an apple cake.
  • This cake is a cross between a cake and a crumble and is based around my previous szarlotka recipe.
  • Apples are mixed with bottled blackcurrants – but you can use any red fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, whinberries and so on.
  • The red fruits can be bottled, fresh or frozen.

Ingredients – Filling

  • 4 Bramley Apples
  • Granulated Sugar to taste – keep it slightly tart
  • A little water
  • Around 350g of bottled blackcurrants – drained

Method – Filling

  • Make the filling first, even the day beforehand as it needs to be cold before you use it.
  • Peel and core the apples and cut them into thick slices.
  • Stew the apples gently with some sugar and very little water. You can make this in a saucepan on the stove or place the apples and sugar in a dish in the oven.
  • Do not add a lot of sugar at the beginning as it does not want to be too sweet, you can adjust the sweetness at the end.
  • Do not make it too much of a purée, cook it so that you have some soft apples but with some harder less cooked chunks as well.
  • Leave this to be completely cool.
  • Mix in the blackcurrants.
  • Adjust sweetness is necessary – but keep it fairy tart.

Ingredients – Base

  • 150g  plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g butter
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or water.

Ingredients – Topping (kruszonka)

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g butter
  • 60g granulated sugar

Method – Base

  • You have to use a loose bottom or spring-form tin or you will not be able to get the cake out.
  • I use a loose bottomed anodised aluminium cake tin which is 22cm in diameter and 8cm deep.
  • Grease the tin well.
  • First make the cake base by rubbing the butter into the flour to make crumbs, then stir in the sugar.
  • Add the yolk and lemon juice and bring the ingredients together to form a soft dough – do not handle the dough too much.
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Pre heat the oven to GM 4 – 180ºC.
  • Make the dough into a rough flat circle and press it into the base of the tin.

Method – Topping

  • Make the topping by rubbing the butter into the flour to make crumbs and then stir in the sugar.
  • Put the  apple & blackcurrant mixture on top of the base – it wants to be quite a thick layer.
  • Sprinkle the topping crumbs over the apple & blackcurrant mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for around 75minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Use a long metal spatula to ease the cake from the side of the tin, then place the cake onto the top of a tin can and slide the side down.

Tea plates – Aynsley – Las Palmas from the 1960s

Using Dried Sourdough

On a recent visit to my local Polish shop I came across packets of dried sour dough.

I had never seen these before and bought a couple to try them out.

There was a recipe printed on the back of the packet and this is what I used.

20210327_165804

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I have noticed many Dr. Oetker products in Poland and in England.
  • I thought the company name was made up but have found this is not so.
  • Doctor August Oetker was a German chemist and was one of the people who invented baking powder.
  • He started a company in 1891 and the first product sold was Bakin, which was a measured amount of baking powder to be added to 500g of plain flour when making a cake. 
  • His family still run what is now a multi-national company.

Ingredients

  • 150g rye flour
  • 350g strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of dried sourdough
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 400ml of lukewarm water (approx)
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of seeds eg – sesame, linseed, caraway
  • *
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame or caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of water

Method

  • In a large bowl mix the rye flour, strong flour, sugar, dried sour dough and the yeast.
  • Slowly add the water to get a soft dough that you can knead.
  • Knead dough for 10 minutes, set a timer.
  • Cover the dough – a shower cap is good – and leave in a warm place to rise.
  • This could be for an hour or more.
  • *
  • Line a long Continental style loaf tin – approx 10 by 30cm.
  • Use a single sheet and push the paper into the corners.
  • *
  • Add the oil and seeds to the risen dough and mix well in.
  • Knead to a smooth dough for 10 minutes.
  • *
  • Push the dough into the tin and smooth flat.
  • Brush the top with water, seeds and flour.
  • Cut slashes with a knife in the top.
  • Cover and leave for an hour or more to rise.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

Flour in Poland

  • If you go into a Polish shop you will often find a huge assortment of flours:
  • Mąka żytniarye flour
  • Mąka orkiszowaspelt flour
  • Mąka gryczanabuckwheat flour
  • Mąka ziemniaczna or mąka kartoflana or skrobiapotato flour
  • Mąka pszennawheat flour
  • Mąka kukurydziana – cornmeal – maize flour
  • Mąka razowa  – wholemeal flour
  • Mąka Grahama – wholewheat flour
  • Pelne ziarno – whole grain

Rye Flour – Wholemeal Wheat Flour – Wheat Flour

Some of my recipes baked with different grains

Wheat Flour

  • There is no self raising flour in Poland – Polish cooks add baking powder, which is often sold in little sachets, to flour as a rising agent.
  • *
  • Polish food regulations require the use of a numerical system expressed as typ.
  • Typ is expressed as grams of ash per 100 kg of flour.
  • Typ is calculated as the amount of ash that remains after the complete burning of the dry mass in a sample of the product at a specified temperature.
  • For example – typ 500 means that in every 100 kg of flour there is around 500g of ash.
  • The higher the typ number the higher the gluten content of the wheat.

Popular Wheat Flours

  • Mąka tortowa – this is a fine cake flour – typ 450 – excellent for buns, cakes and tort (gateaux or layer cake).
  • Mąka krupczatka – this is a coarse ground flour – typ 450- 500 – excellent for shortcrust type pastry and crumbles.
  • Mąka poznańska – typ 500 – excellent for noodles,  pierogi and a sauce thickener.
  • Mąka wrocławska –  typ 500 – excellent for pancakes and yeast cakes.
  • Mąka luksusowa –  typ 550 – excellent for yeast cakes  – similar to American all-purpose flour and English plain flour.
  • Mąka uniwersalnatyp 480 – all-purpose wheat flour

In the past in Poland to be called chlebbread had to contain rye, either on its own  or mixed with wheat or other flours.

White bread rolls – bułeczki – would be made with mąka luksusowa –  typ 550.

Nowadays you can find the kind of flour best for English style wheat bread – a strong flour – Mąka chlebowa  – typ 750 – but I have not used any of these yet.

Some of my recipes baked with various wheat flours

I have found that using the specified flour really does make all the difference.

Liver with Potato Topping

Here are a couple of super liver recipes.

I have also found that the potato topping is easy to make and is so delicious and will be using this for other recipes.

The first recipe is a version for liver and onions with sage and the second recipe does not use sage but has fresh mushrooms in the mixture.

Ingredients – version 1

450g pig’s or lamb’s liver

1 tablespoon of plain flour

3 onions

Large handful of sage leaves

250ml of chicken stock

500g of starchy potatoes

500ml of milk & water

1 tablespoon of butter

Butter & sunflower oil for frying

Salt & pepper

Method – version 1

Butter a rectangular ovenproof dish.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.

Cut the potatoes into thin slices.

Par-boil them for 5 minutes in the milk and water.

Remove the potatoes from the liquid.

*

Slice the onions and fry them in a butter and oil mixture until golden.

Season and add to the buttered dish.

Slice the liver into small pieces.

Dip the pieces in flour.

Fry in the butter and oil mixture on both sides.

Season and add to the onions.

Mix the liver and onions together.

Add the sage leaves and stir.

Pour the stock over the liver and onions.

*

Arrange the par-boiled potato slices over the liver and onions.

Cover the whole of the dish.

Cover the dish with a piece of foil.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Melt the butter.

Remove the foil.

Pour the butter over the potatoes.

Put back in the oven and bake for at least 30minutes.

Served on Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Ingredients – version 2

As in version 1 but without the sage

150ml stock – a mushroom stock cube is good

200g sliced mushrooms

Method – version 2

As in version 1 plus

Fry the mushrooms and add them to the liver and onions.

Served on Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966 – 1988

Yeast Pancakes

  • These would be called placuszki drożdżowe in Polish.
  • They are small American style pancakes.
  • They are similar to dropped scones in the north of England.
  • They are similar to bliny but made with wheat flour.
  • They are a variation on my bliny recipe and you could use half wheat and half buckwheat flour  (I intend to try this soon).

Ingredients

  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 250ml of lukewarm milk.
  • 3½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 50g of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • *
  • Little bit of sunflower oil for frying

Method

  • In a bowl mix the yeast, 1 tablespoon of  sugar and 125ml of milk.
  • Leave for around 10 minutes to froth up.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and 2½ tablespoons of sugar.
  • Mix in the eggs, 125ml of milk and the butter.
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl (a shower cap is good) and leave to rise.
  • This will depend on the room temperature – mine took 90 minutes.
  • Use a cast iron gridle pan or similar.
  • Heat the pan up and add a little sunflower oil.
  • Place large tablespoons of batter on the pan.
  • Adjust the temperature to a medium heat so not to burn them.
  • Cook on both sides.
  • Keep in a warm oven whilst making more.
  • Serve sweet or savoury

Served here with caster sugar on La prune by Jet for Ter Steege of the Netherlands.

Currant Tea Cakes

  • This recipe is a variation of Yorkshire Tea Cakes –  bułeczki.
  • These are soft bread buns with the addition of currants.
  • In Polish the word – rodzynki – is used for raisins and sultanas – ie dried grapes.
  • I do not know what word is used for currants – the dictionary gives the word   porzeczki  –  but that is used for berries such as black  or red currants.

Ingredients

  • 340g plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 30g of butter
  • 220ml of milk & water – lukewarm
  • 60g currants

Method

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to froth up.
  • In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the salt.
  • Stir in the currants.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide into 6 pieces and shape into flattened circles.
  • Place the circles, evenly spaced onto the greased baking tray.
  • Cover and leave for 40 – 60 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Bake for 10- 12 minutes.
  • Leave on the tray for a few minutes then put them on a wire rack to cool.

They are delicious, split, toasted and buttered.

Makaron with Pineapples

Ingredients

  • 250g cooked small sized pasta
  • 1 tin of pineapples (425g)
  • 100g of sultanas
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 50g butter

Method

  • Soak the sultanas in the juice from the pineapples for several hours.
  • Chop the pineapples into small pieces.
  • Melt the butter.
  • Grease an oven proof dish with some of the butter.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Mix the pasta with the rest of the butter.
  • Mix the sultanas and liquor with the pasta.
  • Mix in the chopped pineapples.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar till pale and frothy.
  • Lightly whisk the egg whites.
  • Mix the whites with the yolk mixture and whisk again.
  • Mix the pasta mixture with the egg and sugar mixture.
  • Put the mixture into the buttered oven proof dish dish.
  • Cook for 40 -50 minutes.
  • Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998

Ciasteczka with currants & peel

Ciasteczka is the nearest Polish word for biscuits. It can describe small soft cakes or crisper style biscuits or cookies.

At home we always spoke about biskwity and it was only when I first went to Poland that I realised this was NOT A POLISH WORD!

The word nearest to descripting English biscuits is herbatniki – these are biscuits to have with a cup of tea (herbata).

These are often petit beurre, morning coffee or rich tea type biscuits – plain thin biscuits.

These ciasteczka are quite a bit richer – variations of these I would have enjoyed cutting out with my mother.

Ingredients

  • 240g plain flour
  • 120 butter
  • 120g granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g currants
  • 30g mixed peel
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of milk – optional

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease 2 to 3 baking trays.
  • Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Add enough of the egg to make a soft dough.
  • You might need some of the milk.
  • Roll out the dough to 1cm thickness.
  • Cut out circles using a 7cm circular cutter.
  • Place on the baking trays.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes till lightly golden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire baking rack.

Yorkshire Tea Cakes

I have been looking at some old Yorkshire recipes and tried out this recipe for soft bread buns – tea cakes in Yorkshire  – bułeczki in Polish.

This recipe is so easy and the tea cakes are delicious – I think I will be using this recipe often.

Ingredients

  • 340g plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 30g of butter
  • 220ml of milk & water – lukewarm

Method

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to froth up.
  • In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the salt.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide into 6 pieces and shape into flattened circles.
  • Place the circles, evenly spaced onto the greased baking tray.
  • Cover and leave for 30-40 minutes
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C
  • Bake for 10- 11 minutes.
  • Leave on the tray for a few minutes then put them on a wire rack to cool.

Mama’s Pouring Potato Pancakes

  • My mother once said that she had made some potato pancakes from boiled potatoes with the batter being of a pouring consistency.
  • She said the mixture was a similar to  krokiety kartoflane – potato croquettes.
  • Now I never actually tried these nor attempted to make them before.
  • This recipe is the result of a several tests with different quantities.

Ingredients

  • 200g cold boiled starchy potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml of milk
  • *
  • Sunflower oil and butter for frying

Method

  • Mash the potatoes so they are lump free.
  • Add the flour and salt.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Slowly add the milk , you might not need it all.
  • Mix until the batter is like double cream.
  • A Danish whisk is good for this.
  • Melt a small amount of butter and add a little oil to your pancake pan.
  • Use a ladle to measure out the batter and tip the pan to spread.
  • Turn and cook on both sides.

Served here with maple syrup – but will be good with savoury options too.