Cockscombs filled with nuts or poppyseeds

Cockscombs filled with nuts or poppyseeds

Cooking from the Heart
Mark Roper

If you want to make these pastries parve, use the kindli dough instead. Use either the nut filling or the poppyseed filling as there will only be enough for one or the other.



Quantity Ingredient
20g fresh yeast
or 1 sachet dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk
pinch sugar
125g butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons extra
125g margarine
700g plain flour
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g sour cream, warmed
1/2-3/4 cup milk, warmed
apricot jam, for spreading
egg white, beaten, for glazing

Nut filling

Quantity Ingredient
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
1 1/3 cups ground walnuts or almonds
1/4 granny smith apple, grated

Poppyseed filling

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 cup sugar
250g poppyseeds, freshly ground
1/2 lemon, zested


  1. To make the dough, combine the yeast, milk and sugar in a small bowl. Leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the yeast bubbles.
  2. In a large bowl, work the 125 g butter and all the margarine into the flour with your fingers, until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the yeast mixture, egg yolks, caster sugar, salt, sour cream and ½ cup of the milk with your hand or a wooden spoon. Knead the dough in the bowl for 6–8 minutes, bringing it in from the edges with your fingers, and pushing it down into the centre of the bowl with your knuckles. Rotate the bowl with your free hand as you knead. If the dough is hard to knead, add a little more of the warm milk. Cover and set aside to rise for 30–40 minutes in a warm water bath.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it again. Using the heel of your hand, stretch it out. Bring each end in towards the centre. Repeat this process, shape the dough into a ball, then cover and set aside to rest for another 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough into a 50 x 50 cm square, then brush with some of the remaining softened butter. Fold one-third of the dough over to cover the middle third, and then fold it over again so that three layers are formed. Fold the dough in half again from the top edge back towards you. Cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out and fold again as described above. Allow it to rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. To make the nut filling, beat the egg white and sugar together, add the lemon juice and lemon zest, then mix in the ground nuts and grated apple.
  7. To make the poppyseed filling, put the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the poppyseeds and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Stir in a little water if the mixture is too dense.
  8. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll out a portion to a thickness of about 3–4 mm and spread with apricot jam. Use a sharp knife to cut the flattened portion into 8 cm squares. Put a teaspoon of either the nut filling or poppyseed filling on the upper third of each square. Cut a 2 cm fringe into the whole length of its lower edge. Roll up, starting from the upper edge, and bend into a crescent shape so that the cuts forming the fringe open up slightly.
  9. Repeat with the other three dough portions until all the dough has been rolled and filled.
  10. Transfer the pastries to a large oiled baking tray. Brush them with the egg white and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the pastries for 20–30 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the baking tray after 15 minutes to ensure even browning.
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