In the Press

Poppyseed Rugelach Recipe


I’ve already shared two very wonderful rugelach recipes on my site, so who do I think I am writing about a third? Well, this one is my favorite. I think. Who knows, I’m fickle. But the world can never have too many recipes for rugelach. These are from the Bar Tartine book (which I love, see my Gift Guide), though for various reasons I had to adapt these to work for me, lil ole’ me without kefir butter or home dried fennel flowers.
Poppyseed Rugelach
Adapted from Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns)
For the poppyseed paste:
¾ cup poppyseeds
1/8 cup unsalted butter
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
For the dough:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light rye flour
1 cup kamut flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon fennel pollen
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ pound unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch dice, chilled
½ pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/8 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Egg wash (optional)
Sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Make the poppyseed paste:
In a spice or coffee grinder, pulse the poppyseeds in batches for 15-20 seconds until broken up and powdery. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the milk, sugar, honey, lemon juice and zest (this is when curdling happened for me), and salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and honey are fully dissolved.
In a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk the egg. Gradually pour the the hot milk mixture into the egg, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture back to saucepan and set the pan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk the poppyseeds and salt into the warm mixture. Let cool completely before using. This can be made up to a week in advance, store in the fridge.
Make the dough:
In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, rye flour, kamut flour, sugar, fennel pollen, salt, and pepper and process briefly to combine. Scatter the chilled butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is crumbly, and looks like coarse grain. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sour cream, and mix briefly until a smooth dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours, or for up to 24 hours.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Spread the poppyseed paste in a thin layer over the dough. Starting from a long edge, roll up the dough into a log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (Here, I brushed my log with egg wash and sprinkled it with sugar — up to you.) Cut the log crosswise into pieces 1-inch thick. Arrange the pieces cut side down on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between rugelach. Bake until dark golden brown, 15-25 minutes.