This layered cake, alternating strudel pastry with nuts, apples, poppy seeds and cheese, is a festive Slovenian specialty that takes its name from the region of Prekmurje in the northeast corner of the country. Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s worth every bite. (Recipe courtesy of Mateja Kavaš)
- 2 cups flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups water, mixed with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in large bowl to form a medium-dense dough. Separate into 10 loaves and place on sheet pans. Brush each with a thin layer of oil. Cover and let rest at least 30 minutes before stretching each into a thin layer to fit a baking sheet.
Poppy seed filling:
- 8 ounces poppy seeds, ground
- ½ cup milk, hot
- 5 tablespoons sugar or mix or regular and vanilla sugar
In small bowl, pour milk over poppy seeds and mix in sugar.
- 1 pound cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl.
- ½ pound walnuts, ground
- 1 cup milk, hot
- 5 tablespoons sugar or mix of regular and vanilla sugar
- Pinch of cinnamon
In medium bowl, pour hot milk over walnuts and mix in sugar and cinnamon.
- 1 pound apples
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Lemon zest, or 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
Peel the apples, cut into small segments and stew with 2 tablespoons sugar until quite soft. Add the cinnamon and lemon zest or lemon juice.
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place first sheet of strudel pastry on greased baking sheet. Spread with half of poppy-seed filling. Place the second strudel pastry on top. Brush with melted butter. Spread half of cheese filling over top and cover with a third layer of pastry. Brush with melted butter. Spread half walnut filling on top and cover with a fourth layer of pastry. Brush with melted butter. Spread half apple filling on top and brush with melted butter.
Repeat the whole process with the remaining fillings. Finish with one or two layers of pastry. Pour cream over top layer.
Bake for approximately 1 hour.