I’ve always been very fond of poppy seed cakes but it must’ve been a good 10 years since I last had some and then it just popped into my head the other day and you know when you really crave something, you really have to have it straight away. So I made this. And it’s just as good as I remember…
250g Plain Flour
125g Cold, Cubed, Unsalted Butter
90g Caster Sugar
2tsp Baking Powder
1 medium Egg
a good pinch of Salt
100g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tin of Apricots (you can use fresh but since they’re not in season I opted for tinned)
300ml Crème Fraîche
300ml Crème Fraîche
3 medium Eggs
100g Caster Sugar
For the shortcrust pastry combine flour, salt and baking powder (the baking powder is important as the cakes filling is very wet and it will prevent a soggy bottom!). Add the cold, cubed butter and sugar and rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your hands. It is important to work really quickly when making shortcrust pastry so the butter doesn’t get too warm. When you have reached a crumbly texture add the egg and combine the pastry until there are no more lumps of butter and we have a smooth pastry ball. Put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool down. If you’re feeling lazy you can just put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz them together!
Grease and flour a 26cm spring form tin. When the pastry has rested for 30 minutes we can press it into the baking tin. I always start with the walls of the pastry case. Break of lumps of the pastry and form them into sausages. Then press them into the outside of the baking tin, creating a ca 4cm high rim. Then take the leftover pastry and push it into the bottom of the tin. Make sure that there are no holes in the pastry case and that the bottom layer is even. When everything is covered I like to take my pointer finger and push the back of it into the corners. This ensures that there are no gaps between the bottom and the walls of the pastry and stops the pastry to bunch up there. No one likes thick, dry corners on a shortcrust pastry case! Then put the pastry case back into the fridge for another 30 minutes to make sure it is nice and cold when we bake it.
At this point preheat the oven to 170 degree C.
Put the poppyseeds in a blender or spice mill and blitz them for about 4-5 minutes until they are finely ground and cling together a little bit.
To get started on the pudding put 200ml of the 250ml of milk in a medium sized saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil, careful milk burns quickly! In the meantime combine the rest of the milk with the cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract. When the milk in the pan has come to a boil add the cornflour-sugar-milk mixture and whisk it until it’s well combined, then add the poppy seeds. Keep whisking until the mixture comes back to a boil and continue whisking while it’s bubbling for a minute. You want a nice and thick poppy seed pudding at the end.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool down for a couple of minutes, then add the crème fraîche and combine well. Half the tinned apricot halves and fold into the mixture.
Pour everything into the cold pastry case and smooth the top out with an offset spatula.
Finally to make the glaze simply combine crème fraîche, eggs and caster sugar and whisk the ingredients together until smooth. Carefully pour it over the poppy seed pudding filling and again smooth it out with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1hr 10mins. The glaze will puff up a bit but that’s perfectly normal. It can still be a little bit wobbly in the middle when it’s done.
Let the cake cool down completely and then munch it up all by yourself (or share it if you feel like it!)