Mazurek: Crispy Polish Easter Pastry! Marzipan with cherries & peanuts with passion fruit

Polish Easter „mazurek” pastries are just wonderful. And the key to success here is the simplicity: it is about a really crispy, slightly sweet crust on which you spread any creams, fillings or add some fruit and nuts. Often these are really rich desserts, but in terms of the taste they can match the most complicated confectionery experiments. This year I understood that there are three elements of the perfect Easter „mazurek”: 1) already mentioned crispy crust 2) fatty, sweet and creamy icing layer 3) fresh, sour and fruity accent. The combination of these three factors makes the dessert really delicious and it’s hard to end up with just one piece of mazurek.

I present a basic recipe for the crust and two flavour variants: 1) marzipan & cherries, 2) salted peanut caramel with tropical fruits accent.

Mazurek crust
Ingredients for two pastries, size around 25x25cm (no baking tin is needed, so you can adjust the shape of your mazurek however you like). If you want to prepare one mazurek, simply use the half quantity of the following ingredients and choose one of the flavour variants.
  • 2 cups wheat or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (about 70g)
  • 100g cold coconut oil or vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  1. In a blender bowl or cup, combine all crust ingredients except for water. Combine the ingredients and knead it for a while so there are no lumps of oil left. Gradually add cold water to achieve a flexible ball of dough. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. During this time, you can prepare the cream.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place half of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll it into any shape (I recommend rectangular) to a thickness of about 1 cm. If you want, you can cut off the edges of the dough with a knife and roll your hands with small rolls to stick something like a cake frame on the edges of the mazurek. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

  3. Use a fork to make a small holes in the bottom of the mazurek and place it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until it’s golden.

Marzipan with cherries (ingredients for one mazurek)

  • 100g almond flour (or almond flakes grounded into flour)
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 50ml of amaretto or rum (alternatively: apple juice)
  • 1/2 of small tofu (100g)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g frozen cherries
  • 2 or 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 flat tsp potato flour
  1. Combine the almond flour with sugar, a little salt and 50 ml of alcohol. Knead until you can form a marzipan ball (you can snack in the meantime).

  2. Using a blender, blend a piece of tofu with lemon and an extra 50 ml of amaretto or rum. Combine the marzipan with the tofu cheese, mixing it thoroughly for a minute.

  3. Put frozen cherries in a pot with sugar and salt, cook for about 5 minutes, until it is completely defrosted. Gather a few tablespoons of cherry juice and mix it in a glass with a teaspoon of potato flour. Add the mixture to the boiling cherries, reduce the heat and stir for a while until it thickens nicely.

  4. Spread the marzipan mass on the cooled crispy base, and then pour out the prepared cherries. You can sprinkle it with an additional portion of almond flakes.

Salted peanut caramel with passion-fruit (ingredients for one mazurek)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150-200ml plant-based milk (the most delicious will be with canned fatty coconut milk, but it will be tasty with any other milk)
  • 3 full tbsp peanut butter
  • one passion fruit (or other sour fruits: pomegranate seeds, currants, and even small pieces of orange slices)
  • a handful of favourite nuts (preferably roasted)
  • A large pinch of salt (preferably larger flakes)
  1. Put salt and sugar in a pot. Heat it over medium heat for a few minutes, until everything is melted and gently caramelized. Add plant-based milk and mix vigorously. While cooking over low heat, add a portion of peanut butter and keep stirring for a while until you achieve a thick, velvety cream.

  2. Spread the peanut cream on the cooled, crispy crust, add the fruit, decorate the whole thing with nuts and sprinkle it with additional salt.

Tip: The nuts used to decorate the mazurek should be baked in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces). This can be done while the crust is baking. Roasted nuts always taste better!