Makówki, Lower Silesian: Mohnkließla, Mohnklöße, Mohnpilen, Hungarian: Mákos Guba are different names for a traditional poppy seed-based dessert from Central Europe. It is most notable in Silesia, where it is served almost exclusively on Christmas Eve (and perhaps on the following days, as long as the supply prepared for Christmas lasts).
Makówki is also well known in Brandenburg and Berlin under the name Mohnpielen. A similar dish, but with slices of Kifli (Kipferl) in Hungary is called Mákos Guba.
The main ingredients are: sweet white bread and finely ground poppy seeds boiled in milk with butter. Other important ingredients include: dried fruit (figs, raisins, apricots, dates, etc.) almonds and other kinds of nuts (the choice of nuts and dried fruit varies). It is flavoured with sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and rum.
The bread is cut into thin slices and layered in a clay pot or more often into a glass or crystal bowl. After each layer, the sauce of the boiled poppy seeds, with flavouring and nuts, is poured so that the bread is well soaked. The top is decorated with some extra nuts and fruit. The dish is served cold, at least several hours after preparation.
Significance in Silesia
Silesian cuisine can be very conservative. The tradition of makówki / mohnkließla / mohnpilen is well maintained amongst Silesians, i.e., it is hard to imagine a Silesian Christmas without this foodstuff, and it would be rather unorthodox to serve it outside the Christmas—New Year period. Preparing makowki outside Silesia can be a challenge because of unavailability of finely ground poppy seed (a special mill is usually required). In the U.S.A., canned poppy paste is sometimes commercially available and can be used.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ tablespoon butter
- 4½ tablespoons dark rum
- ½ cup amaretto
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup dark or golden raisins
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 300 g ground poppy seeds
- 1 loaf raisin bread (about 450 - 500 g), diced into 2 cm cubes
- 60 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, shaved
- whipped cream, optional
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream and butter almost to a boil.
- While constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, add rum, amaretto, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts and ¼ cup sliced almonds. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the ground poppy seeds and thoroughly combine.
- In a large dessert bowl, or individual wine or parfait glasses, alternate layers of poppy seed mixture with layers of bread, beginning and ending with poppy seed mixture. There should ideally be 3 to 4 bread layers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, top with chocolate shavings, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, and whipped cream.