Apricot, Prune and Poppy Seed Hamantaschen Fillings

Every year I try to come up with different Hamantaschen flavours to bake for Purim and while I’ve come up with some delicious new combinations, I ALWAYS bake some of the traditional hamantaschen. No matter how delicious the new ones are, my family (okay, me too) always want some of their favourite flavours that they have every year.

It used to be, back in the day, that I’d buy the fillings. There’s a company that’s known for their canned fillings and they are good. They’re also hard to find where I live and expensive if/when you do find them. About 10 years ago I realized that I could make my own fillings, and there’s been no turning back. The ingredients are all readily available in all my local grocery stores and the recipes are easy to put together. I usually use my basic hamantaschen dough, sometimes adding some lemon or orange zest to the dough.

You can make these and use them as soon as they’ve cooled, or make them ahead and freeze until you’re ready for them. Each of these recipes makes approximately 2 cups of filling.

Apricot Filling

  • 340 grams dried apricots, cut in quarters (2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 60 grams granulated sugar (¼ cup)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan.  Bring the ingredients to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for another 4-6 minutes, until the apricots have absorbed about half of the liquid and have softened.

Use a food processor or an immersion blender to puree the mixture.  Make it as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is pureed.

Cool before using. Can be left in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days before using to fill hamantaschen.

Prune Filling

  • 280 grams pitted prunes, cut in half (2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • zest from one orange or 2 mandarin oranges
  • 3 Tbsp orange/mandarin juice
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar

Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan.  Bring the ingredients to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Use a food processor or an immersion blender to puree the mixture.  Make it as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is pureed.

Cool before using. Can be left in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days before using to fill hamantaschen.

Poppy Seed Filling

Ground poppy seeds can be hard to find, so I grind them myself at home with one of those small blenders often used for smoothies.  A coffee or spice grinder would work too.

  • 155 grams ground poppy seeds (1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest    
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 45 grams dried prunes, roughly chopped (¼ cup)

Place the ground poppy seeds and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently on low, stirring frequently, until the ingredients have thickened and formed a paste.  It should take 25-30 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl, cover with wax paper and chill before filling hamantaschen.

This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

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