Poppy seed filling
This poppy seed filling will make many baked treats so much better.
  1. Using a very fine sieve, rinse the poppy seeds under running water. Drain very well. Transfer the poppy seeds to a small saucepan and pour in about 3 cups of water. Over medium heat, bring the water to a gentle simmer, then turn off the heat immediately. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes to half an hour. Turn the heat onto medium again and bring to the point of simmering. Turn off the heat once again and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the poppy seeds through the fine sieve very well. You could even sit the sieve on a clean sponge to draw out any excess water, squeezing out the sponge a few times over 10 minutes.
  3. Grind the drained poppy seeds using either a mortar & pestle, a meat-style grinder or a spice grinder.
  4. Transfer the ground poppy seeds to a small saucepan, add the milk, sugar and raisins and heat very slowly over low-medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 2 minutes and do not let it boil as it will curdle.
  5. Set aside to cool, then transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process for 30 seconds or so, scraping down the sides every 10 seconds.
  6. Refrigerate the poppy seed mixture until needed. It can be frozen, as well.