Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to Make Poppy Seed Filling

Many eastern European pastries are based on a variety of fillings which include fruits, cheeses and nuts. One of the fillings that truly stand out with Czech and Polish baked goods are poppy seeds. As a young child I did not immediately succumb to the taste of poppy seeds when I had the pick of kolacky filled with tasty fruits such as apricot, plum and raspberry. My young taste buds at the time had no desire for any cookie or slice of coffee cake containing this thin black paste containing seeds. Our poppy seed consumers in the home were mainly mom and dad.

My spat with poppy seeds did not stop there. While attending college I worked part time in a hospital kitchen. Our particular kitchen (or hospitality) unit prepared the meals for the patients temporarily residing in the substance abuse wing. Working in an institutional kitchen, I actually learned a great deal of cooking and quickly realized hospital foods could actually be quite tasty given the right menus, management and a respectable budget. My only main mistake during my cooking tenure at the rehab clinic was preparing a batch of poppy seed muffins for the drug abuse patients. What did not occur to me is the general nature of poppy seeds coming from the opiate poppy flower. You know……..the same chemical or ingredient found in heroin and morphine. Needless to say one breakfast of poppy seed muffins set off several “false positive” drug tests as reported by the nurses later that day. Poppy seeds were no longer on the menu board in that unit.

As time goes on, my tastes evidently changed for the better as I learned to really enjoy the taste of poppy seeds aside from the use as a hot dog or hamburger bun coating. My grandmother’s recipe index contains a wide assortment of poppy seed recipes which I have had the pleasure of enjoying. I have previously posted a poppy seed cake recipe on this site that is worthy of trying for a get together of friends. I will also gladly share a simple poppy seed filling recipe that will go great as a filling for kolacky or even a roll filling. It is fairly simple.

Poppy Seed Filling Recipe

1 1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flour (to make roux)
1 teaspoon butter (to make roux)


1. In a saucepan bring poppy seeds, cream, sugar, honey, vanilla and cinnamon to a boil
2. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking for five minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Add combination of flour and butter and continue simmer for two minutes.
4. Remove from heat and cool down for use.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I really enjoyed your blog. I am from large Czech family and every Christmas I get to enjoy fresh shsika's made by my cousins and every year I ask how to make them and every year I forget to write it it down. Thus I am curious if you know what I'm talking about and if you might have a recipe from them. Please contact me
Thank you.