Noshin' the 'Taschen, 2023
In anticipation of Passover which arrives in less than a month, Purim provides both incentive and opportunity to clear out our kitchen cabinets of flour. It also nudges some of us towards the dark recesses of the freezer. Though I tend to align myself with traditional Hamantaschen fillings, this year I'm more than happy to color outside the poppy seed, apricot and prune lines. Inspired by the very last of last year's rhubarb stash and an over abundance of wild blueberries, I'm putting the prunes and poppyseeds on pause; ditto for the dried apricots.
Oven roasting strawberries and rhubarb heightens their flavor while taming the excess liquid that yields a runny filling. Frozen blueberries make a sturdy stove top jam that can be as sweet and lemony as you wish. I've never been smitten with dry, crumbly cookie versions of the tri-corner pastries; probably a latent Hebrew-school-Purim-costume-parade syndrome. Though my preference is delicate cream cheese dough, I'm also a fan of yeast driven Hamantaschen. Both require a little extra time and fiddle, but they are so well worth it. And if you feel up to the challenge of watching melted butter transform from bright yellow to golden brown, the nutty flavor of brown butter pairs beautifully with blueberries. Regardless of the flavor profile you choose, the story of Purim remains an important reminder of Queen Esther's bravery. As we celebrate the holiday today and tomorrow, it's a fine idea to consider the power of a pastry; one that symbolizes hope and resilience.
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