e-mail content: “I figured I’d make some for purim in a couple weeks; do you have any tips? I was planning on somewhat following the king arthur recipe.”
While I have not tried the King Arthur recipe, I have tried and enjoyed the recipe from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook, a classic for the New York Jew. Purim this year came at a very busy time of year. At the shop we are fulfilling a huge order of chocolate figures that requires most of my free time. This past weekend however I was able to spare a few minutes to make some hamantaschen for my coworkers and friends. I decided to go with nostalgia this year and make poppyseed and apricot filling. The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook hamantaschen recipe is dairy free and the dough lasts a few days if you don’t want to make it all at once.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Jewish holiday, Purim is a celebration. The book of Esther describes a plot to destroy the Jewish people by the king’s right hand man Haman. Long story short Esther and her cousin and adoptive father Mordecai were able to foil his plot and save everyone. We eat Hamantaschen or “Haman’s ears” as a tradition to remember what we have to appreciate. As a child I was told the hat represented Haman’s hat and we would sing “My hat it has three corners…” every year. I imagine Haman’s hat just sounds less gruesome than eating his ears.
The dough lends itself to many fillings I have used jams, jellies, and curds in the past. Scroll to the bottom for the poppyseed and apricot fillings I used from the book.
2nd Avenue Deli Hamantaschen Dough No. 1 (mildly adjusted)
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- juice and zest of one orange
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg white
- extra sugar to sprinkle on top
- filling of your choice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large bowl sift flower, baking powder and salt
- Beat eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy
- Meanwhile combine the sugar, vegetable oil, zest and juices, and vanilla and whisk together.
- Add the wet ingredients into the eggs and mix.
- Then add the dry ingredients and mix until dough has formed.
- Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead until dough is no longer sticky.
- Roll a quarter of the dough out at a time to 1/8 inch thick and using a 4 inch round cutter or jar lid, cut out circles.
- Lightly brush circles with egg white and put about a tsp of filling into the middle.
- Fold or pinch in two sides to create two sides of a triangle and press to seal, then fold or pinch the bottom to create the third side. Careful not to put in too much filling or it will fall apart.
- Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle sugar.
- Bake 15-20 minutes
- 3/4 cup poppyseeds
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup dark raisins
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I omitted these and the recipe still works fine)
- Pour boiling water over the poppyseeds and let sit 15 minutes.
- Drain the seeds and combine all ingredients except the nuts in a food processor and blend together. Fold in the nuts.
- 3/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (apples and pears, not prunes, I used mangos,)
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I omitted these again)
- Blend all ingredients except the nuts in a food processor. Fold in the nuts.