In Poland, like probably in so many other countries, special holidays or celebrations have not only traditions associated with them but also food prepared especially for these occasions. Some of the dishes we, of course, enjoy at other times as well but few are exclusive only to those holidays. And a cake called Mazurek, baked especially for Polish Easter is one example.
Mazurek is a thin cake beautifully decorated with dried fruits, nuts, sprinkles or icing. And these are the only common features of all mazureks. At the same time, there are many differences between the various types.
Some of them are similar to tarts: a shortcrust pastry base with a topping (jam, marmalade, homemade fudge) and icing. Another consist of two layers of pastry (shortcrust and sponge) “glued” with jam or jelly. Some are rectangular in shape, others – oval.
The below Pistachio Cake recipe is based on a delicious walnut mazurek. In this case, there is no shortcrust base but a lovely topping instead. It adds a different texture to the spongy but pretty heavy cake.
The original, traditional recipe uses ground walnuts and a bit of plain flour. I decided to use pistachios and rice flour. Why? Because I love pistachios and their green colour matches up with spring and Easter. Additionally, I wanted to bake a gluten-free cake, that’s the reason why I used rice flour.
However, if you are not concerned about gluten, plain flour is probably a slightly better option. The rice flour makes the cake a bit drier although it is still delicious. And even though I have written above that Mazurek is typical for Easter, I think this one, the Pistachio Cake, is too good to be enjoyed only once per year!
P.S. If you are interested to see what other mazureks look like, please go here.