Purim is one of our favourite festivals; dressing up, parties, sweets, being told to make loads of noise in shul, I mean what’s not to love!? And all these best bits about Purim are featured in our latest picture book from PJ Library, Purim is Coming! A bright and colourful book written by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli and published by Kar Ben Publishing.
Excitement bursts out of this book as the children take part in the fancy dress Purim parade, play games and shake their groggers while they listen to the megillah.
But as well as all the brilliant festivities that happen at Purim, this book starts with an activity that has become a tradition in our house every spring just before the festival; making hamantaschen.
Now, we have tried out many different fillings for our hamantaschen in the past; peanut butter, chocolate, caramel pecans, jam… Last year we chose some sweets and chocolates and folded them up in the pastry as an experiment, they were delicious! Hamantaschen are so versatile it seems you can fill them with just about anything. So, this year we decided to have a go at something a bit different – pizza hamantaschen!
The first thing to change was the dough, we didn’t think tomatoes and melted cheese would taste too good in a sweet biscuit, so we used pizza dough instead. Any pizza dough will do so use whichever recipe you prefer, or you can find many simple ones online.
We kept it simple for the filling with just cheese, tomato and oregano but you could add diced vegetables, olives or anything else you enjoy on a pizza. We usually use passata when we make pizzas but it’s quite thin and we needed something a bit thicker so we simmered a tin of chopped tomatoes in a saucepan until the liquid had reduced and then blended with a hand blender.
Once we had everything prepared it was time to assemble. After rolling out the dough we used a 7cm round cutter to cut out circles of dough.
Then it was time to add our pizza toppings. This was the best part for my children as they could each have a different job; I added a small spoon of sauce, my youngest sprinkled on some oregano and then my eldest topped it with the cheese.
Try and keep the toppings more or less in the middle of the circle of dough as this will make it easier when you start to shape them into triangles.
Before folding into triangles I dabbed a tiny drop of water around the edge of the circle with my fingertip as this will help the dough stick together. To create that distinctive hamantaschen shape, first fold one side of the circle over the topping, this will form one of the three sides of your triangle.
Then, fold up the two remaining sides pinching a corner directly opposite the middle of the first folded side, you should now have a triangle shape. Finally, pinch all three corners together well making sure to leave a gap for the filling to peek through in the middle.
Next, carefully place the triangle shapes on to a tray lined with baking parchment. Ours didn’t spread too much in the oven so they don’t need huge gaps between them. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes until golden.
Allow to cool a little as the cheese inside will be piping hot and then enjoy.
Chag Purim Sameach!
Buy Purim is Coming! from Wordery with free delivery.
Many thanks to PJ Library for sending a copy of this book for review.
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