- 1 cup poppy seeds (available at Whole Foods -bulk foods section)
- 8-10 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- confectioners sugar (optional)
- Rinse the poppy seeds under cold water in a fine mesh colander; transfer to a medium saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from the heat and let sit in the saucepan, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature. Repeat – return the mixture to a simmer, remove from the heat and let sit for another 30 minutes at room temperature, covered.
- Drain poppy seeds thoroughly, using a fine mesh colander or couple layers of cheesecloth. Squeezing as much of the water as possible.
- Place the poppy seeds in a food grinder (either coffee grinder or food processor – with grinder option turned on) and grind.
- Mix in 8-10 oz. (I used about 10 oz.) sweetened condensed milk into the ground poppy seeds and mix well; refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar with a hand held mixer on medium speed. Beat in lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until combined.
- Divide the dough into four portions and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time into a 9-inch circle. Spread 1/4 cup of the poppy seed filling over circle, leaving 1/2-inch uncovered edge.
- With a sharp knife, cut circle into 12 wedges. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, roll up toward the center. Place each pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet 1-inch apart; cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with milk. Brush each pastry with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Sift powdered sugar over the pastries and serve.