Woohoo!! It’s hamantashen time at our place.
The Jewish festival of Purim falls on 25/26 February this year.
Hamantashen is the name for the sweet three-cornered filled pastry served at Purim, representing the three-cornered hat of Haman, the villain of this festival.
Here is our wonderful recipe for fail proof hamantashen dough. This recipe was first published in our first book, Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood.
Israeli-born Evy Royal has been with us since the start. Her magnificent hamantashen filled with halva and chocolate (that we have now revamped with two new fillings), and her exotic icing sugar-dredged date- and nut-stuffed mamoul biscuits, embody the inspiration from her Moroccan heritage. Her Israeli great-grandmother arrived at their doorstep every Friday night, laden with boxes overflowing with dessert after dessert. Decades later, living in Sydney with her own family, Evy still regrets not asking for those recipes at the time, as they are now long gone.
Evy’s is the best hamantashen pastry we have tasted, and we’ve spent more than a decade trying many many others. We’ve created two new filings to indulge our cravings: a Middle Eastern baklava-inspired one with a nutty filling that reminds Natanya of trips to Israel and another with a thick strawberry jam that reminds Lisa of childhood jam tarts from old-fashionedAustralian cake shops. It also luckily solves the problem of regular jam leaking out of the hamantashen all over the baking tray. You can find those recipes in Now for Something Sweet, our most recent book.
You can also fill them with chocolate, jam, povidl (buy at gourmet produce stores or make your own), walnuts and sugar, poppyseed (a favourite filling is in Elisabeth’s beigli in our first book), nutella and sultanas…whatever takes your fancy! If you use store bought jam, make sure you choose a thick one so it is less likely to spill out when baking. We also find that if you refrigerate the filled hamantashen for 15 minutes before baking, they are less likely to split open.
Happy purim and happy baking!