, , , , , , , ,

So yesterday, I made an enormous batch of Hamantaschen. There was blueberry, apple, chocolate-hazelnut, and my new favorite, lemon.

I am blessed to live in an area where many people have citrus trees in their yards, and as the fruit ripens, people share. One of my coworkers brought in some lemons that completely blew me away with their awesomeness. As I was zesting them to make the lemon curd, I kept asking my husband, “Can you smell that? Isn’t it amazing?”

The finished product:


So hamantaschen are a huge amount of work, but they are also hugely delicious, and if your only making them a few times a year, then they’re extra special.

These cookies came from several sources:
The dough and baking directions were from MarthaStewart.com. I made a few minor changes, instead of 4 cups of white flour, I used 3 cups white flour and 1 cup white wheat flour. I also had blood oranges on hand so I used them. It’s not really visible in the finished cookie, but the blood oranges gave the dough a lovely slightly pink color.

The fillings:
Lemon – I used Martha’s Lemon Curd recipe and then followed the suggestions from PragmaticAttic’s blog. It looks like she’s got a lot of great recipes over there – definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t like lemon hamantaschen. The lemon filling kind of leaked a little, but I think I may have either overfilled the cookies or I might have been a tad too impatient with the freezing step. Either way, they were still delicious!

Chocolate-Hazelnut– this filling came from GourmetKosherCooking.comit isn’t specified in the recipe, but I used a food processor, and finely chopped enough hazelnuts to make 1 cup.

Apple– this filling is based on years of making apple cobblers.
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Apples.
1 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon (or to taste)
1 pinch of ground Cloves (optional)
Put all ingredients in a saucepan, cook over medium heat. After a few minutes, the apples will begin to soften and release their juices. Let the mixture come to a boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blueberry– these were a bit more experimental, but here’s what I think I did.
1 1/2 cups dried Blueberries
3 cups water (this might also be a good time to use blueberry juice if you have it. I didn’t have any,so I just used water).
1/4 cup Cornstarch
Approx 1/4 cup cool water
Put the blueberries and water into a sauce pan. Let simmer until berries are nice and soft. Leaving the berry juice in the pan, remove the berries and purée them. They don’t have to be super smooth, just a rough purée is fine. return the berries to the pan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the 1/4 cup water, add to the berries. Bring your berries to a boil, stirring frequently. When the mixture becomes thick enough, it should coat the back of your spoon and drip slowly back in to the pan. Let cool. Don’t worry if they still seem too runny for the hamantaschen. As the berries cool, they will continue to firm up to a jam-like consistency.

Here they are again in all their glory: