We met Leonie Vickers at a Monday Morning Cooking Club Passover cooking demonstration on the North Shore in Sydney, and she was excited to tell us about her family’s kolac. We had never heard of this Czech cake but when she described it as layers of buttery pastry, tart apricots and sweet cheese, all topped with a toasty crumble, we were just as excited. She shared her recipe with us, and we published it in our most recent book, Now for Something Sweet.
This recipe makes a pretty large cake. If you want to make a half size version, make a full quantity of the base pastry (which is hard to halve as it uses one egg) and then place half in the freezer for a rainy day. Make sure you wrap it well. It’s also really important to label it because we know (so well!) that we will not remember what pastry it is in 3 months time! The rest of the ingredients in the recipe can easily be halved and made in a 20 cm square tin.
For a comprehensive guide to our recipes for Shavuot, head to our Shavuot roundup.
Kolac: Apricot Cheese Crumble Slice
- 300 g soft low protein plain or plain (all-purpose) flour 2 cups
- 75 g Caster (Superfine) Sugar 1/3 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 150 g cold unsalted butter chopped
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 250 g soft low protein plain or plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 2/3 cups
- 250 g cold unsalted butter chopped
- 230 g caster sugar 1 cup, superfine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 500 g farm cheese or drained ricotta 1 lb 2 oz
- 2 eggs
- 115 g Caster (Superfine) Sugar 1/2 cup
- 10 fresh apricots halved or 40 Australian dried apricot halves
- If using dried apricots, place them in a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes and then drain well before using.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C with an oven tray inside. Line a rectangular lamington tin with an overhang, 32 x 22 cm
- To make the pastry, place the flours, sugar and salt in the food processor and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until crumbs form. Add the egg, and the lemon juice and zest, and pulse until a dough is formed. Remove the dough and shape it into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured benchtop, roll out the dough until it is the size of the tin. Place the pastry into the tin, ensuring the base is evenly covered. Bake for 15 minutes.
- To make the crumble topping, place the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in the food processor and pulse until it is a rough crumbly mixture. Remove from the processor and set aside.
- To make the cheese filling, place the cheese, eggs and sugar in the food processor and process until it is a smooth mixture.
- Spread the cheese filling on the dough and place the apricots on top. Sprinkle with the crumble topping.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the top is light golden. Allow to cool.