Mazurek with Oranges

This mazurek is one my mother used to make. She used the peanut butter base for sernik as the base.


This quantity of pastry is enough for a small tin – 26cm x 16cm.

Grease and line the tin.

Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190ºC

Press the pastry into the tin and prick the surface of the pastry




Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Leave the base to cool completely.

The original recipe used a sweet orange jam/sauce  which you made from sweet eating oranges. After a while my mother improvised and used English orange marmalade to which she added a little water and some sugar and heated this up for a few minutes.

Use the orange/marmalade  mixture whilst it is still slightly warm and pour this onto the base.

I have now found a jam from IKEA which is orange & elderflower , this has a really nice flavour – warm this slightly so it is easy to spread onto the base.

You need 3-4 tablespoons of jam.









Leave the orange jam to cool completely.








Over the orange jam is then poured a chocolate topping.

I have used the one from Mazurek – Using Yeast Dough yeast dough.

Chocolate topping


50g butter

30g of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of cocoa

2 tablespoons of water


In a small saucepan gently melt the butter and sugar .

Add the cocoa and water and mix it till it is all blended together.

Heat this on a low heat – stirring all the while.

Allow to cool slightly and then pour this over the jam.





Tea plates Las Palmas by Aynsley from the 1960s.


Sernik Base with Peanut Butter

My mother often used this base when she made her sernik (baked cheesecake)  – it is a recipe she used in later years as the use of peanut butter is not at all traditionally Polish!


110g butter or block margarine

90g caster sugar

175g plain flour

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I prefer to use crunchy)

Grated rind of 1 lemon


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the lemon rind, egg yolk  and peanut butter and cream again.

Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon and then using your hand bring this all together to form a soft dough.

Place the dough in a fridge for several hours.




Pre-heat the over to GM5 – 190°C

Use a loose bottom tin (or spring-form tin)  22cm or 20 cm in diameter.

Grease the base and sides of the tin.

Press the dough onto the base of the tin.

Prick the surface of the dough with a fork.

Bake for around 15 – 20 minutes until the top is golden.

Let the base cool completely before using it.





Using The Base

The base must be thoroughly cooled before use.

The base can be stored on the tin base for later use if needed – wrapped in foil or in an airtight container.


Make your sernik (cheesecake) mixture and pour this onto the base and bake as per your recipe.

I used around 450 – 500g of yoghurt cheese with the addition of  mixed peel as in my another cheesecake recipe.











Great cake lifter from Lakeland Plastics.




Cake is on a Lead Crystal cake stand

Cake forks are Crazy Daisy by Portmeirion designed by Sophie Conran in 2009.

Tea plates are Enchantment by Colclough from the mid 1950s – 1960s.


Hazelnut – Tort

Corylus avellana is the hazelnut, also known as  cobnut or filbert nut.  In Polish it is orzech laskowy  – which translates as nut of the forest and as its name implies hazel trees or bushes grow abundantly in Poland.

Turkey is the largest commercial producer of hazelnuts followed by Italy.

Ferrero SpA  – makers of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella use 25% of the global supply of hazelnuts per annum.

Tort is a layer cake (in England the French word gateaux is used) – the layers of cake being sandwiched together with a butter cream (Sweet whipped cream was hardly known in Poland – with soured cream being the norm).

The word tort is originally from the Latin torta – flat cake or round loaf of bread.

A tort can be round or in a block shape – it often has very decorative piping  – my decorations tend to be more simple!

A tort is often made for celebrations and is often very large – I have recipes which call for a dozen or more eggs!

The following recipe only uses 6 eggs!

This tort recipe uses hazelnuts which have been roasted and then ground.

I often buy my hazelnuts from a  dried fruit & nut stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market.  This the largest covered market in Europe and was founded in 1875 and has around 100,000 visitors per week.

On this stall you can buy : whole hazel nuts, roasted hazel nuts and ground roasted hazel nuts.

I use either roasted hazel nuts and grind them myself or roast the hazel nuts myself and then grind them.

Roasting Hazel Nuts

To roast hazelnuts put the shelled nuts on a baking tray and put them in an oven at GM 5 – 190°C for around 10 to 15 minutes – keep checking as it is easy to burn them.

Once they are done, leave them to cool and then rub off the papery skins between your fingers and discard them.



I use an electric grinder which is very useful.





6 eggs

225g  caster sugar

225g roasted & ground hazelnuts

2 sponge fingers – crushed


Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C

Grease and line a 23cm x 32cm baking tray.





Mix together the ground hazelnuts and crushed sponge fingers.





Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until they are pale and fluffy.







Fold in the nut mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for  around 20 minutes until it is golden on top.



Take out and leave it to cool on a cooling tray.

Measure the length of the cake and cut it into 3 equal pieces.





A poncz (sweet punch for moistening the cake) is used on each layer.

I used one made from 150ml of weak black tea, 45 ml of rum and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Rum Butter Cream


120g butter

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons of rum

300g icing sugar ( approximate amount)


Cream together the butter and egg yolks.

Add the rum and cream again.

Mix in the icing sugar till you have a smooth butter cream



Using a spatulas layer up the cake first with poncz on each layer and then the butter cream.

Cover the top and sides with the butter cream.

Make fancy patterns with spatulas (or you can do fancy piping if you wish).



Little spatulas for decorating with icing.




Tea plates are Silver Rose by Duchess from the 1950s & 1960s.

The cake slice is Water Garden by Portmeirion.

Round Tort

The same quantities and method as above can be used for two 18m diameter cake tins.

Here the poncz was made from 150ml weak black tea and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar & coffee butter cream was used.

Coffee Butter Cream


90g butter

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons of very strong coffee

250g of icing sugar (approximate amount)





Cream the butter and egg yolk.

Add the coffee and cream again.

Mix in the icing sugar until you have a thick butter cream.





Use the poncz to moisten the cake & layer up and coat with the icing.






Very useful cake lifter – from Lakeland Plastics – for moving the cake







Another cake lifter




Tea set is by Spencer Stevenson Co Ltd, who manufactured in England  between 1948 and 1960.  The design name is not known.

Green Teapot is Café Culture by Maxwell Williams.

Other Cake Sizes

3 eggs with 110g of roasted hazel nuts & 110g of caster sugar for 1 – 18cm diameter cake tin.

4 eggs with 150g of roasted hazelnuts & 150g of caster sugar for 1  – 22cm diameter cake tin.


Courgette Fritters

The first post on this blog was on 4 July 2015 – just over 2 years ago.

Now this will be my 100th post!

Although courgette fritters are not from an old Polish recipe they do have some similarity  to Polish potato pancakes and to carrot pancakes.

Courgette in Polish is cukini – so another vegetable that owes its name to Italian  – zucchini.

Courgettes belong to cucurbitaceae family as do cucumbers which are very well loved in Poland – so I am sure this recipe would be very popular there too.

I have read that courgettes did not become popular in Poland until the 1970s although the larger marrow and pumpkins were often cooked and many recipes for these can be used for courgettes.

The amounts in the ingredients are all approximate.


2 to 3 courgettes

1 egg

2 tablespoons of soured cream, double cream, crème fraise or yoghurt cheese

2 tablespoons of plain flour

Grated rind of 1 lemon


Sunflower oil for frying.


Grate the courgettes using a coarse grater.

Sprinkle the courgettes with salt.

Place the salted courgettes onto a clean tea towel and place this in a colander for around 30 minutes.

Wrap the tea towel up and squeeze out the liquid from the courgettes.


The green stains on the tea towel will come out in a hot wash but  do not use fabric softener for tea towels used for this and similar purposes.




Place the dried grated courgettes in a bowl and add the grated lemon rind.




Add the beaten egg and the soured cream (double cream, crème fraise or yoghurt cheese) and mix together.

Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and use large tablespoonfuls of the mixture to make the fritters.

Fry them on both sides until they are golden brown.


Keep them on a heat proof plate  in a low heat oven whilst you make the rest.



You can place a sheet of kitchen roll on top of the first layer to stop them sticking.

Serve them with grilled meats and salad.


A chopped red chilli or two and also a chopped garlic clove can be added to the mixture.




Courgettes – 3 Ways

Courgettes in Polish are cukini – so here is another vegetable that owes its name in Polish to Italian  – zucchini.

Courgettes belong to the cucurbitaceae family as do cucumbers which are very well loved in Poland

I have read that courgettes did not become popular in Poland until the 1970s although the larger marrow and pumpkins were often cooked and many recipes for these can be adapted for courgettes.


Here are 3 ways of cooking courgettes  – they all go well with grilled or roast meats such as pork or chicken.

Floured Courgettes

This is a very simple Polish way of cooking courgettes.


2 courgettes – sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons of plain flour

Salt & Pepper

Sunflower oil & Butter for frying


Slice the courgettes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Put the plain flour in a dish and toss the slices of courgettes in the flour.



Fry them gently  on both sides in a mixture of sunflower oil and butter.

Place the cooked ones on some kitchen roll in a warm oven whilst you do the next batch.


Breaded Courgettes

Sliced rounds of courgette are coated with dried breadcrumbs – this recipe reminds me of vegetables served à la Polonaise.


2 Courgettes

2 beaten eggs

Plain flour

Dried Breadcrumbs

Salt & Pepper

Sunflower oil for frying


Slice the courgettes and place them in a colander and sprinkle them with salt and pepper and leave them for 15 minutes.



Dry the courgettes with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.



Toss the courgettes in flour.

Dip them into the beaten egg.

Coat them with dried breadcrumbs.



Fry the slices, on both sides,  in hot sunflower oil.



If you have any left, they are good with dips such as mayonnaise or salsa.

Buttery & Lemony Courgettes

I cannot remember where I got this recipe from but it is a method I have used for years.


2 courgettes – sliced

1 lemon – fine grated rind & juice

2- 3 tablespoons of butter

Salt & Pepper to taste


Use a small saucepan or high sided frying pan

Put the lemon rind and juice into the pan.

Sprinkle salt & pepper on the courgette slices.

Add the courgette slices and heat gently for a few minutes and use the lid to keep in the liquid.

Add the butter and continue cooking gently.




Continue cooking until the slices are tender throughout and the lemon juice and butter have reduced to a buttery lemon coating.


Served in a dish by Alfred Meakin – Jayne – from the 1950s.

Pork Gulasz with Kohlrabi

A Polish gulasz (casserole) is often very simple and besides onions may just contain one other vegetable; however though simple they are very tasty!

This one is made with shoulder pork and kohlrabi and at the end I have given suggestions for several other similar vegetables which can be used instead.




500g Pork shoulder

1 large or 2 small kohlrabi

2 medium onions

250ml chicken stock – can be from cube or concentrate

2 tablespoons of plain flour

1 tablespoon of caraway seeds

Salt & Black Pepper.

Oil for frying

Chopped dill or flat leafed parsley to serve











You will need a lidded casserole dish.

Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark  3 – 160°C

Roughly chop the onions.

Peel and chop the kohlrabi.

Cut the pork into cubes and coat the pieces in a mixture of flour, salt & ground black pepper.

In a frying pan heat the oil until it is hot and fry the pork until all the sides are sealed.

Add the chopped onions and fry them all together for a few minutes.





Place the pork and onions into the casserole dish.

Add the chopped kohlrabi and the stock and place the dish into the oven.

After 2 hours add the caraway seeds to the dish and stir.

Add more stock if you think it is evaporating too much.

You will need to cook this in the oven until the meat is tender which will be between 3 to 4 hours.





The serving dish is by Alfred Meakin with  a  lid with lovely blue cornflowers & wheat on it.  The pattern is called  Jayne and is from the 1950s.

The gulasz is here served with mashed potatoes on Carnation by Royal Doulton. 1982  – 1998

It also goes well with hefty style pasta, boiled rice or cooked buckwheat.


You can make this a day ahead and then re-heat the next day for at least one hour with extra stock if needed.

Alternatives to kohlrabi

You can use the following in place of the kohlrabi:

  • diced white turnip,
  • chopped parsnips,
  • chopped celeriac ,
  • whole radishes,
  • florets of cauliflower.

Kohlrabi – Cooked

Kohlrabi in Polish is kalarepa  –  it belongs to the cabbage family – the Brassicas.

It is a swollen stem and spherical in shape.


I have already written about eating it raw in salads  – now I am going to write about eating it cooked.

You can either steam whole kohlrabi and peel them once they are cooked and cooled a little or you can peel  and chop them first and then boil them (with the addition of a little salt and sugar).

Steamed, Peeled and Chopped


Peeled, Chopped and Boiled


Buttered kohlrabi

Cook the kohlrabi by steaming or boiling then toss the chunks into melted butter and serve with chopped flat leaf parsley or dill.


Served here in a dish by J & G Meakin – Topic – designed by Alan Rogers – 1967

Kohlrabi à la Polonaise

Melt butter in a pan and stir in dried breadcrumbs to make the à la Polonaise topping and pour this over the cooked kohlrabi chunks.


Served in Saraband by Ridgeway –  1940-1959

Creamed kohlrabi

Cook the kohlrabi by boiling chunks in a vegetable stock with a little sugar added.

Drain the kohlrabi and mash them adding several large tablespoonfuls of soured cream.

Serve with chopped flat leafed parsley.


Served here in a dish by Royal Doulton – Carnation 1982 – 1998


Kohlrabi baked with cheese


Cooked slices kohlrabi

50g of grated cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Edam or similar)


Cheese sauce – ingredients

1-2 tablespoons of butter

1-2 tablespoons of plain flour

150 ml of vegetable stock (can be from concentrate/cubes – I use made up  Marigold powder)

4 tablespoons of soured cream

Cheese sauce – method

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the plain flour.

Cook lightly to blend the two together.

Stir in the stock and mix to make a lump free sauce.

Stir in soured cream to make a smooth sauce.


Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C

Place the slices  of kohlrabi into an oven proof dish layering up with most of the cheese sauce.

Put the grated cheese on top.

Pour the rest of the cheese sauce over the top.

Put in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes.