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Prune Hamentaschen

My dear wife and I got into a debate last night after she went food shopping for hamenstaschen fillings. Are prune hamentaschen (my personal favorite) better made with prune jam or actual prunes? I leave it up to chowhound to validate my position.

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  1. Prune jam / filling of course!

    1. Prune jam. My mother used to make her own jam (Lekvar) using prunes of course.

      1. Do you mean putting a prune itself in as the filling? Interesting idea, but put me in the lekvar camp!

        1 Reply
        1. re: queenscook

          Lekvar all the way! In fact, I wrote a whole blog about "no mun" and an easy way to make the circle hamantashen shape without rolling out the dough. But we also fill with chocolate chips for the kids...

        2. Whole prunes? Was she pulling your leg?

          1. I use the SImon Fischer lekvar, the same as my mother did. However, my friend makes a prune filling from prunes and walnuts that is just amazing. The texture is not nearly as smooth as the lekvar. I have not been able to get the recipe out of her, though.

            1. Although prune filling is not my thing, I use the apricot variation of a prune filling recipe from Gil Marks' "The World of Jewish Desserts". It is basically dried fruit that is cooked with sugar, water and a bit of lemon. It is then puréed in the food processor to the desired smoothness/chunkiness. Pastry fillings in general work better in hamentashen as I've found that jams and preserves bubble over during baking and turn into hard candy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sharonfl

                I agree about the "bubble over" effect with jam fillings. Also I find them much too sweet. I make my own fillings with prunes or apricots, cooked with minimal to no sugar, and maybe orange or apple juice as part of the cooking liquid.

              2. Lekvah is my favorite, I also like mohn. I use the Solo brand fillings.

                I roll out a rich, sweet sugar-cookie type dough. The dough ought to be delicious enough to eat plain, unfilled. But making them large 94.5" diameter circle cutter) lets them contain enough lekvah for an over-the-top yom tov treat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: AdinaA

                  I happened to be in Riverdale last night and found some lekvah (didn't know it wasn't just called prune jam) in R'dale Kosher Market.

                2. Thank you everyone for your replies. My wonderful wife (who may read this) and I have resolved our dispute and we will find prune filling.

                  Though in the interests of protecting of the innocent, I purposely left vague who supported which fillings.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: craigcep

                    Lekvah and mohn pastry fillings can be hard to find. Jewish grocers stock up for Purim, but, except in the really large communities, often run out early. In smaller communities, it can be necessary to mail order. People don't bake as much s they used to. And these are old fashioned fillings, and the immigrants who loved them are passing from the scene.

                    Shop early .

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      One area that I lived in in Germany was once heavily Jewish. To the point where the synagogue is still there, the local brewery still uses the Star of David as their trademark, and there are more than a few words of Hebrew in the local dialect.

                      And my favorite Kleinditorei had both mohn and prune Hamentaschen in season. 99% of which were purchased by us Goy.

                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                        That is very interesting. Indian River. Which area was that?

                        1. re: almond tree

                          Ansbach, Frankenland, Bavaria. The synagogue is next to the town cathedral and was resanctified back in the Nineties. One of my soldiers who had lived in Israel for 3 years always chuckled about the dialect.

                          This was a rural, not an urban community, so no ghetto per se. Fascinated by the well dressed stone field walls through out the area, I stopped my tank and discovered they were tombstones carved in Hebrew.

                          Evidence of the Holocaust is easy to find if you have eyes that see.

                          The area was also expert in the many varieties of carp dishes and would you believe strawberry wine!!

                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            A number of synagogues survived kristallnacht. Usually former synagogues buildings sold by the kahal decades before the war. Some with dramatic stories like Ansbach.

                            As for the gravestones, it's true, what can I say...

                            But the food is interesting. Some things like pirogen, were just local dishes, everybody ate them. But Germans still eating hamentaschen is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

                      2. re: AdinaA

                        Go figure, I found Solo Poppy Seed filling at my local Kroger in NC. I had to get the lekvar in FL while visiting the MIL. Solo's website has both a "Find Us in Stores" feature and a link to order directly from them.


                        1. re: AdinaA

                          Mohn can be made in 15 minutes, way less time than it takes to go to the store.

                            1. re: magiesmom

                              It depends where you live. A number of years ago I tried to buy bulk poppy seeds to make candy and couldn't find any in my area. If you can get the seeds and they're fresh, not rancid, yes, it's easy. Otherwise you'll need an alternative.

                              1. re: magiesmom

                                Recipe for the Mohn filling please!

                                Um, and if you had a levkar filling recipe too, I wouldn't say no ; )

                          1. They should be filled with lekvar, which is very easy to make at home. Put a pound of dried pitted prunes or apricots in a small 1-qt size slow cooker with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and cook for 5-6 hours until the fruit seems almost candied. Pour off a little liquid if there's too much (save it for something else) and puree the fruit in the Cuisinart. Refrigerate.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Querencia

                              It gives this poor Hungarian speaker a chuckle to see you all refer to prune preserves as lekvar, since lekvar merely means preserves (of any kind) in Hungarian.

                              I wonder when Yiddish adopted it to mean only prune preserves. And subsequently, when Simon Fischer chose to immortalize it on its labels.

                              1. re: DeisCane

                                I believe that Simon Fischer refers to their apricot product as "apricot lekvar." I think it may just be lazy Americans who shortened "prune lekvar" to simply "lekvar" as that type is the most common here.

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  They may have in the past but it's called (Golden) Apricot Butter now.

                                  My assimilated family also used lekvar for only prune, but my wife's Budapester family has taught me the truth. :-)