Welcome to the Free Recipe of the Month!
Each month I feature a free recipe for visitors and regular subscribers. Once the month has passed, the recipe is retired into the BB Recipe Archives. So bake while the oven's hot! These recipes are only here and free for four short weeks.
The free recipe-of-this-month is Best Ever Apricot Hamantashen
I always use all-butter for these but some people want a pareve or non-dairy dough so in that case, swap in shortening. (I also have an oil-based traditional hamantashen recipe in my Jewish baking book). This is my most favorite hamantashen dough with my favorite filling. Make sure the apricots you use are Californian. I get mine from Bella Vista Orchards or nuts.com.
3/4 cup water orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups dried apricot halves
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter or shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
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)
For the filling, place water (or orange juice), lemon juice, apricots in a 3 quart saucepot on low to medium 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.
For the Dough, in a large mixer bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until smooth. (If mixture is hard to blend or seems curdled, add a bit of the flour to bind it). 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 2-3 dozen pastries