Poppy Seeds and Plums are two of my favourite things. Both remind me of my Polish heritage and childhood. Sweet plums are plentiful in Poland and are also in season now here in the UK. If you are lucky enough to have a plum tree in your garden, as we did growing up, you’ll always be on the look out for an extra plum cake recipe to use up your glut.
In Eastern European baking, poppy seeds are typically ground into a paste, with Makowiec being one of Poland’s most well-loved cakes. Makowiec is a very sweet, nutty-flavoured cake, an egg-enriched yeasted dough is rolled with a poppy seed paste filling before being baked and glazed. If you watch The Great British Bake Off, you may have spotted that Brendan used a poppy seed paste, flavoured with orange zest, lemon, raisins, brandy and orange liqueur to give his Chelsea Bunski’s an Eastern European twist. I have also tried a baked cheesecake with poppy seed paste, and there is a sweet noodle dish called Kluski z Makiem, usually served at Christmas.
My recipe combines poppy seeds with plums in an easy tray-bake, although the poppy seeds are left to be sprinkled in whole to add texture, rather than being ground into a paste. I served my tea time treat with a fresh plum compote, which was made by cooking the plums very gently with a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of Polish Plum brandy.
If you get a chance to make this easy cake, I’m sure it will be quickly devoured, but it will keep in a tin for up to five days.
I’m quite fond of tray-bakes and easy, seasonal bakes, as you may have realised. Here are a few others to try -
What are your favourite seasonal treats?