PURIM RECIPE: Hamantaschen
Our Jewish followers may know that the festival of Purim arrives this Thursday and that involves festivities and celebrations for the weeks surrounding it (bring on the fancy dress!). The most recognised food of this festival is Hamantaschen, a cookie/soft pastry typically made with poppy seeds. You’ll notice the unusual folding of the pastry - this is actually created to represent the ears of ‘Haman’, a character from the story of Purim. Check out the recipe below (by epicurious.com) to try them out for yourself.
Cooking Time: Preparation time 2 hrs 20 mins, cooking time 20-25 mins
Serves: 30 pastries, medium difficulty
4 cups dried apricots/prunes
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps of baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp of freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp of freshly grated orange zest
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup of egg wash
Equipment Needed: 2 x medium bowls, whisk, large bowl, sieve, 3 x wooden spoons, clingfilm, collander, paper towels, chopping board, chopping knife, non-stick cooking spray, baking sheets, rolling pin, 3 inch circular biscuit cutter, basting brush, cooling racks
Soak the apricots. Place the apricots in a medium bowl. Add boiling water to cover and set aside to soak for 1 hour.
Mix the dough. Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of the sugar, and the lemon zest and orange zest in a large bowl, whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is creamy and foamy. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture, stirring together with a wooden spoon until combined and a dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Make the filling. Drain the apricots in a colander, stirring to eliminate the surface water, and then blot dry on paper towels. Transfer them to a chopping board or bowl and finely chop. Mix the apricots, walnuts if using, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl, stirring until well combined.
Make the pastries. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch circles (use a biscuit cutter). Place a generous spoonful of filling in the center of each circle, then fold up three sides so the cookie looks like a 3-cornered hat, pinching the dough edges together but leaving the center open as shown in the photo. Gather the dough scraps and reroll; cut and fill in the same way. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and lightly brush with the egg wash, which will give them a nice color. Bake until the pastry is golden brown—20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to wire racks to cool.