by Ben Miller
I didn’t even realize that Purim was this past week until I saw a post on Mark Bittman’s blog about making the perfect hamantaschen. Inspired by the post, I decided to try and create my own hamantaschen using the dough recipe on Bitten, but with a poppy seed filling instead of the prune one provided.
The results were quite good. It actually tasted pretty close to the hamantaschen I’d bought before the store. A few caveats I would add though. The dough has to rise overnight so there is a planning element here. Second, poppy seeds are shockingly expensive. I bought two 2.5 ounce jars at Safeway for about $7 each, and that barely got me enough to make the recipe. Also, make sure that you do a good job pinching the edges together, if you don’t, the hamantaschen will fall apart during baking. Finally, I halved the Bitten dough recipe and got 25 hamantaschen out of it, which was about perfect for the amount of filling I made.
Poppy Seed Hamantaschen
Dough recipe can be found on Bitten here. It’s actually really interesting because the instructions are very similar to how one would make fresh pasta, using a dough well and then adding the wet ingredients. I had some trouble doing this because you add almost too many things to the center, but if the walls start folding, just start mixing in flour as fast as possible, that will help you from making a mess.
Filling recipe can be found here.
I’m not going to give the dough recipe because there is already a lengthy description on Bittman’s blog. The filling ingredients and instructions are below.
Poppy Seed Filling
1 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons raisins
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Combine poppy seeds and milk in a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture has thickened, add raisins, sugar and honey. Let it cook a few more minutes to re-thicken (about five minutes).
- Take off heat and add lemon juice and zest and butter. Allow it to cool before putting the filling in your dough.