As the weather gradually becomes cooler and the seasons change we are reminded of the holidays that are fast approaching, Human Rights Day, Purim, Easter, Family Day, Passover and Freedom Day. The Jewish festival of Purim begins next week on March 23 and ends on the evening of March 24, with the traditional Hamantaschen being baked and delivered to friends and family along with other delicacies. This famous three-cornered pastry is a reminder of the pointed ears of Haman in the days of the Persian empire, who wanted to exterminate the Jews, but was himself subsequently hung on the gallows together with his 12 sons, by order of the-then king.
I bake to great acclaim Sweeter Hamantaschen with my daughter, a recipe from The Spice and Spirit of Kosher-Jewish Cooking published by The Lubavitch Women’s Organisation.
1 cup sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup shortening
½ cup orange juice
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Filling (mix together):
1 small tin apricot jam
1 packet dessicated coconut
The art of making Hamantaschen:
Cream sugar, oil and shortening. Then add eggs, and juice, mixing well. Blend with dry ingredients and proceed according to directions.
Roll out the dough very thin (approximately 1/8 inch) on a floured board. (When rolling out dough, first divide into several sections for easier handling.) Flour the rim of a glass and cut out circles. Spread your favourite filling of each. To shape triangular hamantaschen, pinch together towards the middle segment the folds on either side of the circle. Then fold upwards toward the middle the remaining segment at the bottom and join to the other sides.
Place onto well-greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg for a golden colour. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit or 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 20 minutes until slightly brown. The recipe should yield four dozen hamantaschen.