Ukrainian Sour Cream Poppy Seed Cake

This cake is very light, tender, and tasty. It's fun to make and fun to eat.

1/2 cup poppy seed
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups thick sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups sifted cake and pastry flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour boiling water over the poppy seed and drain well over a fine sieve. If necessary, repeat this washing. Spread the poppy seed on a tea towel or brown paper and dry thoroughly. This should be done the day before baking. Beat the eggs well; add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla. Sift the flour with the dry ingredients 3 times. Add the flour to the cream mixture along with the poppy seed and mix gently with a folding motions.

Spoon the batter into 2 layer cake pans which have been lined with waxed paper and buttered. Bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes, or until done when tested. Let the cakes stand in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a cake rack. Put the layers together with a Lemon Filling to which some finely cut maraschino cherries have been added. Ice with a plain or cooked white icing.

Lemon Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Few grains salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 egg yolks

Mix the sugar with the cornstarch and salt in the top of a double boiler. Add the remaining ingredients except the egg yolks. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thick. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir a little of the hot mixture into the slightly beaten egg yolks, and then add to the rest of the contents. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the range and cool.

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