Tuesday, March 20, 2012


When Jewish holidays come up, my mind automatically goes to the food associated with that holiday.  Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) -- I think apples and honey.  Passover -- I think matza and horseradish and matza brie.  Hannukah -- I think latkas.  Purim - I think hamentaschen.  

I recruited a friend of mine to have a hamentashen-making morning.  It's so much faster when you have two people, one to roll the dough, the other to work with the filling.

Prune Filling

3/4 lb prunes
1/2 lb raisins
1 orange (deseeded, quartered, blended with skin left on)
lemon juice (to taste)
~1/2 cup pureed apricot (I couldn't find any, so I pureed peaches)

This is my friend's recipe.  She blends all of this together and lets it sit in the fridge overnight so that the flavours meld.  I followed a bit of a different plan.  I let the prunes and raisins sit in water overnight to plump up.  Here's what they look like after absorbing water overnight:

Then I blended everything together in the morning.  This made for a more liquidy filling, but it was still good.   

Basic Oil Dough
1 medium-sized seedless orange (thin-skinned)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 3/4 cups flour (approximately)
2 tsp baking powder
Cut orange in quarters but do not peel. 

Process in a food processor until fine, using the steel blade, about 25 seconds.

Add eggs, sugar and oil. 

Process for 10 seconds. Add flour and baking powder. Process with several on/offs, just until flour is blended into dough. Do not over-process. Dough will be fairly sticky. Remove from bowl with a rubber spatula onto a lightly floured surface. Use as directed. 
Yield: enough dough for 4 dozen Hamentaschen. 

To Assemble:

1. Roll out dough to approximately 1/4 inch.  Make sure to use a good amount of flour so that the dough doesn't stick.

2. Cut circles as close together as possible so as not to have to overwork the dough more than necessary

3. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in centre of circle

4. Bring sides up and together pinching together to form a triangle shape. The cookie doesn't have to be completely closed, but the dough should hold together. It's nice to be able to see the filling - especially if you make several different fillings
5. Place cookies on greased or sprayed cookie sheet or on silpat
6. Brush with a combination of an egg yolk plus 2 tbsp of water (not entirely necessary but gives it a nicer sheen).  Alternatively, you can melt some butter and spread that on top.  

7. Bake in 350 F oven for 25 - 30 minutes

Verdict: I purchased the raisins and prunes at Bulk Barn and made the mistake of assuming that the scales provided measured in pounds.  I realized, at the checkout, that I had more than double what I intended to buy since the scales were actually kilograms.  So, I doubled the recipe for the filling.  To use up all the filling, I tripled the recipe of dough.  Surprisingly enough, it didn't take us that long to make 12 dozen hamentaschen.  Thankfully, they freeze very well, are easy to share with others and taste great!  



Beth said...

I so wish (and always have) that I loved cooking and baking – particularly from scratch. Alas, no. Everything on this blog always looks so delicious – I get inspired reading it but when push comes to shove, I fold. (So to speak…)

Anonymous said...

I'm the same way with food and Jewish Holidays

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Cooking in the kitchen with a friend is so much more enjoyable!

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