Purim Wouldn’t Be the Same without Hamentashen

Purim Wouldn’t Be the Same without Hamentashen

Purim starts tonight at sundown when the 14th day of the month of Adar begins on the Jewish calendar. One of the constituent features of Purim is the traditional pastry known as hamentashen. Although everyone has their own special recipe, Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky makes her family’s version with poppy-seed filling, the traditional Litvak treat. The recipe dates beck to the period between the two world wars.

“This recipe was probably used earlier and recalls the time when the aroma of the pastry filled the Vilnius Old Town and many other cities and towns where Jews lived in Lithuania. Although you can purchase this version now, it’s always more fun to make it yourself,” she commented.

Happy Purim! Hag Purim sameakh!


Faina Kukliansky’s hamantashen recipe:

For the dough you’ll need:

125 ml milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
500 ml flour
100 g butter
1 egg yolk

Poppy-seed filling:

1/2 cup milk
100 g sugar
100 g honey
100 g ground poppy seeds
some grated orange peel or zest
a bit of lemon juice
1/4 cup raisins (if you have them)

Method of preparation:

Mix the warm milk with the yeast, egg yolk and sugar. Mix the flour with the salt, then poor the yeast mixture into the middle, mix in the warm butter and knead the resulting dough for from 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough becomes pliable and elastic. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes. Separate a third of the dough. Pinch this into 10 equal-sized balls. Spread each ball with a rolling pin or make it thin with your fingers, making round circles about 3 to 5 mm thick and 10 cm wide. You can use the rolling pin to flatten the entire piece of dough and then cut circles out of it using a dish or cup as well.

Place 1 or 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of each dough circle and fold the edges of the dough over from three corners such that you still see a bit of the filling from the top. Brush the top with the whipped egg. Preheat the over to 180° C.

Place the pastry on a tray covered with baking paper which is lightly buttered. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastries turn a nice brown color.

Leave on the tray for 5 to minutes after removing from oven, then remove them carefully and let them entirely cool down on a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Youtube tutorial in Lithuanian: