Catholic Recipe: Mazurek
The Wigilia is the traditional Christmas Eve supper of Poland. This is a meatless meal for it is a fast day [Editor's Note: This day was formerly a fast day. Fasting is no longer required.--JGM]. The number of the courses is fixed at seven, nine, or eleven. It is considered unlucky to have an odd number of persons at table, and relatives are invited, especially those who have no family of their own.
The soups are three in number, and always include Barszcz (a beet soup). There are three fish dishes — whole pike or carp, fish puffs, and salt herring; three accompanying dishes — homemade noodles with poppy seeds, red cabbage with mushrooms, and cheese Pierogi (dumplings).
The Polish desserts for Wigilia are also three: a fruit compote made with twelve dried fruits (symbolic of the twelve Apostles), pastries shaped like horns of plenty and filled with puree of chestnuts, and a variety of cakes. Among the latter is Mazurek.
Sift dry ingredients. Cut butter in flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a knife until crumbly. Mix beaten egg with cream and add to mixture. Mix lightly by hand and spread on buttered cooky sheet. Bake at 350° F. for thirty minutes. Take from oven and cover with fruit topping. Bake twenty minutes longer. When cool, decorate with candied cherries, angelica, and candied orange peel, and cut in 1 x 2 inch pieces.Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951