Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie translates as half or semi French pastry.
Now this does not really mean anything to me!
I am going to start this post with a little introduction to two similarly named pastries frequently used in Polish cooking.
- Ciasto francuskie – translates as French pastry
- Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – translates as half or semi French pastry.
They are both buttery, unsweetened pastry.
French pastry is puff pastry.
Now I do not intend to write about puff pastry as it is something I am really not inclined to make as it is so time consuming and you can buy ready made version both chilled and frozen which are okay.
Maybe in several years when short of topics I might give it a go!
I am going to write about ciasto pȯłfrancuskie. I have seen this described as rough puff pastry – but it is not – rough puff is slightly easier and quicker than puff pastry but once again I am not going to write about this.
I have seen many different recipes for this half-French pastry and they fall into three broad categories:
- ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – śmietanowe – dough made with some soured cream.
- ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – serowe – dough made with twaróg – curd cheese.
- ciasto pȯłfrancuskie – drożdźowe – dough made with yeast.
Ciasto pȯłfrancuskie 1 – with soured cream
- 300g plain flour
- 225g butter
- 1 egg
- 2 yolks
- 4 tablespoons of soured cream
This dough should be left for around 12 hours in a cool place before using therefore I usually make this in the evening for the next morning.
- Put the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the butter and with a knife chop it up roughly.
- Then with your finger tips rub the butter in until you have fine breadcrumbs.
- Beat the egg and yolks together.
- Stir in the egg and some of the soured cream.
- Bring the dough together, adding as much soured cream as is needed to bring the dough together.
- Shape the dough into a ball and leave covered in the bowl in a cool place for around 12 hours.
- *** After 12 Hours ***
- Preheat the oven to GM7 – 220ºC
- Grease several baking sheets.
- Divide the dough into 4 and work with each quarter at a time, leaving the rest in a cool place .
- Roll the dough out thinly
- The dough is cut into shapes and a teaspoon of filling added and the pastry sealed as appropriate.
- Squares filled and folded into triangles and sealed
- Triangles filled and rolled up and formed into crescents
- Circles filled and folded over into semi-circles and sealed.
I found that the circles using a 7cm cutter were the easiest to handle and gave the best filling to to pastry ratio and am sticking to this size and shape.
- Jam – I found this often escapes from the pastry – lots of care is needed.
- Poppy Seed Mix – * see below
- Mincemeat – This English fruit mix would be recognised in Poland as bakalie -Balkan mix.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes till golden brown
- Dust with icing sugar whilst still warm.
Poppy Seed Filling
I make this amount of poppy seed filling and then divide it into 4 or 5 small batches and freeze them for later use.
- 200g poppy seeds
- 500ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
- 50g ground almonds
- 120 ml runny honey & 1 tablespoon
- 25g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
- optional 1 teaspoon of rum
- Put the poppy seeds and milk into a saucepan and simmer then together for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop any sticking or burning. The aim is to cook the seeds and adsorb as much of the milk as possible. You need to watch this carefully and keep adjusting the heat to stop the mixture burning.
- Using a fine sieve, strain the poppy seeds from the liquid – leave this for a while to remove as much liquid as possible.
- The poppy seeds need to be crushed, I use a hand held blender for about 5 minutes which I find is the easiest way but you can use a pestle and mortar or a mincer.
- Once crushed, place the poppy seeds back into a saucepan and add the ground almonds, the vanilla essence and the 120ml of honey and mix thoroughly.
- Add the butter to the mixture and simmer gently for about 5 minutes and then leave this mixture to cool completely and then add the rum.
- Whisk the 1 tablespoon of honey with the egg yolk until this is thick and creamy and then add this to the mixture.
- Optional – add a teaspoon of rum.