1 hr 15 min

I’ve given my father’s favourite plum and poppyseed cake a little bit of a twist with a layer of marzipan, poppyseed, quark cheesecake and apricots with Amaretto.

For the Pastry
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 240g plain flour
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 1 medium egg
For the Poppyseed Filling
  • 375ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 30g butter
  • 250g poppy seeds, ground
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dark rum, or use rum extract
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 160g marzipan
For the Quark Cheesecake Filling
  • 750g quark
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Grated rind of ½ a medium unwaxed bio lemon
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence
For the Apricot Topping
  • 2 x 410g of apricots in juice
  • 40ml amaretto liqueur
  • 1 pack of clear quick jel
  • 1 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 30g toasted flaked almonds
  1. For the pastry, place the butter, sugar, salt, flour and almonds into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg and process until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
  3. You can do this by hand, using your fingertips to rub all the dry ingredients and the butter together then add the egg and lightly knead until combined.
  4. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile make the poppy seed filling. In a saucepan bring the milk, sugar, honey and butter to a boil. Turn the temperature to a medium heat and stir in the ground poppy seeds, cinnamon, rum and semolina.  Keep stirring and cook the mixture over a low heat for 5 minutes until thick.  Set aside to cool.
  6. Once cooled to room temperature beat in the eggs.
  7. Grease and line a 23cm spring form with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
  8. Roll out the pastry and use to line the base and sides of the tin and return to the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  9. Prick the base of the pastry all over and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Roll out the marzipan between two sheets of cling film into a 23cm circle and place on the pastry base and pour the poppy seed filling over the marzipan.
  11. In a large bowl using an electric hand whisk or in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the quark, butter and sugar until smooth.
  12. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until fully combined, then beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  13. Carefully pour or spoon the mixture over the poppy seed filling and smooth the top.
  14. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes until the edges are set but the centre is still slightly wobbly.
  15. Leave the cake to cool in the oven with the door ajar for 30 minutes before removing the cake from the tin to cool completely.
  16. Place the cake on a serving dish.
  17. Drain the apricots reserving the juices and arrange the fruit over the cake.
  18. Pour 100ml of the apricot juice, the amaretto liqueur and 60ml of water into a saucepan. Add the icing sugar and sachet of quick jel and, stirring continuously, bring to a boil.
  19. Take the saucepan off the heat and leave to cool and thicken slightly and then spoon over the apricots.
  20. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Notes: The lemon I use weighed 90g.






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