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Salted caramel mazurek

23 August 2016

A sweet and salty Polish dessert from Zaza Zuk's book Polska: New Polish Cooking.

Salted caramel mazurek with pecans
Salted caramel mazurek with pecans

Cooking time

3 hours




For the dough

  • 300 g (10 1⁄2 oz/scant 2 1⁄2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 125 g (41⁄2 oz/2/3 cup) soft light brown sugar
  • 200 g (7 oz/scant 1 cup) salted butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon soured cream

For the filling

  • 1 x 400 g (400 fl oz) can condensed milk
  • 25 g (scant 1 oz/2 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 25 g (scant 1 oz/2 tablespoons) soft light brown sugar
  • 100 g (31⁄2 oz/2/3 cup) pecans, broken up into smaller pieces
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon good-quality sea salt


Although making mazurek does take time it is a very simple recipe. If you would like to simplify the pastry then you can use ready-made caramel or dulce de leche, though the consistency will be a little bit more runny. In my recipe, I have replaced the traditional hazelnuts and walnuts with salted pecans and I have also added some sea salt to the caramel to balance out its all-consuming sweetness.

For the filling place a can of condensed milk in a pan of water, making sure it is completely covered. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat right down to the lowest setting and simmer for 3 hours. Top up with extra water if it evaporates.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and work between your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and soured cream and knead together into a smooth dough. Chill in the fridge for 30–45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1 cm (1⁄2 in). Use this to line a greased brownie tin, approximately 24 cm (91⁄2 in). Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan melt the butter and sugar together over a low heat, then add the pecans and most of the sea salt. Toast for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Set aside.

Once the condensed milk has turned to caramel and cooled to nearly room temperature, open the can and stir a little bit more salt into it, reserving a little bit for the topping.

Spread the caramel over the cooled base generously and top with the caramelised pecans. Sprinkle over a little more sea salt before serving.

Polska by Zuza Zak
(Quadrille, £ 25)
Photography by Laura Edwards

Visit our dessert section for more delicious recipes

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.