(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe
Best Ever Apricot Hamantashen
This dough, made with shortening and butter, yields a light, cookie-like pastry which is similar to the hamantashen you might expect to find in a commercial bakery. If you require a dairy free dough, simply use all shortening or non-dairy margarine (instead of butter and shortening). The recipe for Apricot filling follows but you can also use this amazing dough for prune, poppy, sour cherry, apple caramel, chocolate peanut butter, cherry cheesecake or Meyer Lemon fillings (all recipes in Archives). My best collection of hamantashen of course, is in A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (Whitecap Books, 2009)
Apricot Hamantashen Dough
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups (approximately) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Sugar (regular or coarse) for dusting (optional)
In a large mixer bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugar. Add eggs and blend until smooth. (If mixture is hard to blend or seems curdled, add a bit of the flour to bind it).
Stir in orange juice or milk and vanilla. Fold in flour, salt, and baking powder and mix to make a firm but soft dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a smooth mass. Cover and let rest ten minutes. Divide dough into two or three flattened disks. Work with one portion at a time. Wrapped in plastic, dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. If refrigerating, allow dough to warm up before rolling out. For frozen pastries, bake without defrosting.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll out dough on lightly floured board to a thickness of 1/8th inch. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter and cut into rounds. Brush rounds with egg wash. Fill with a generous teaspoon full of desired filling. Draw three sides together into center. Grasp perimeters of circle with your first, second and third fingers and pull inward. You should now have a three-cornered or triangular pastry. Essentially, fold two sides towards the center to form a triangle top. Fold up the remaining dough towards the center to meet the other edges of the touch. Brush pastries with egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar and bake until golden brown, about 18-25 minutes.
Recipe doubles well.
About 4-6 dozen pastries.
Apricot Hamantashen Filling
This is my favorite filling. Use California apricots for best results but Turkish apricots will also work nicely.
3/4 cup water orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups dried apricot halves
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup yellow raisins
Place water (or orange juice), lemon juice, apricots, sugar and raisins in a saucepan and combine over low heat. Toss and stir often - 8 to 12 minutes. Add water if mixtures appears to be drying or thickening too quickly.
Remove saucepan from stove and let mixture cool for about 5 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor and process to make a paste. Add additional water or orange juice if mixture requires thinning. Taste mixture and add additional sugar (a tablespoon at a time) if required. (Refrigerate up to two weeks or freeze up to six months).
If chilled filling is too stiff to spread, loosen with some warm water or juice.
Enough to fill 4-6 dozen hamantashen
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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