Sunday, January 20, 2013

Almond mazurkas

It's been a while hasn't it. Chalk it up to holiday related ennui.
Here is a very yummy, mind blowingly flavorful dessert recipe for your enjoyment.

Here's a Wigilia (Christmas Eve vigil) recipe just as delicious for Inauguration Day or Martin Luther King Day.  Original recipe is from the Culinary Art's Institute Polish Cookbook: Traditional recipes tested for today's kitchens.  It's in the general desert section, love the Easter and Christmas sections too, I rely on them for preparing holiday dishes.

The Cautionary Preamble Including Sadness: I didn't have ground almonds as an ingredient so I ground my own. I soaked almonds for 2 or 3 days changing water daily, then ground without blanching/removing skins first.  I ground with lots of water in my Vitamix blender in batches. I got worried when the blender stopped.  I thought I broke it, yikes. I read the fine print on the machine later that it should start again in a half hour or so.  It did.  I used smaller batches of almonds and more water.  Maybe an actual grinder or food processor would be a more appropriate tool.  Later my husband told me that in the directions it says to add the almonds through the top while the water is in motion.  I felt like a dummy not reading first. I froze the excess of ground almonds.

When I was done with the blending I had a water slurry, I poured off the liquid  through a flour sieve, added honey to taste I stored the almond milk in the fridge.  Sadly it did not last for more than a week before fermenting.  I should have frozen some. I saved the ground, bicolored bits of almond for the recipe.  Mine were kind of chunky and irregular which we liked.

As a recipe variation I used rose water for flavoring and stirred in jam I made from rosehips earlier.  It was heavenly. Lemon would be good, or orange water, or vanilla, or a complementary liqueur?

So finally, the actual recipe:

Almond Mazurkas (Mazurek Migdalowy)

1 pound blanched almonds, ground, about 4 cups
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice ( I used rose water instead)
(I added about a 1/2 cup of rose hip jam, stirred in loosely, so you could see swirls)

Combine almonds and sugar; mix well.
Beat eggs with lemon juice until just foamy.  Stir into almond mixture.  Pour batter into a well greased 15x10x1 inch jellyroll pan.  I used parchment paper thankfully. (The finished product was as sticky as the floors of a downtown movie house circa 1978.)
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden.
Cut into 2 inch squares while still warm.  Remove from pan.

We layered parchment paper and wax paper between sticky, fragile layers.  Maybe if the almonds were ground finer without the skins the squares would've held together more easily.  After they cooled they held together pretty well.

Let me know if you try this.  Do you have favorite cookie/cooky/biscuit recipes?


Insomniac's Attic said...

I'd like to try this recipe but I don't have any rose hip jam ... do you think it would work as well with raspberry maybe?

tess said...

Give it a shot, I bet it would, raspberries and almonds sound nice together, and would make pretty swirls.