These apple pie hamantaschen were not supposed to happen. I planned to bring nutella hamantaschen to my friends (Carole and Mark) for dinner tomorrow, Purim. But then I saw a couple of apples in my fruit bin. Before I knew it, another batch of dough was in the food processor and I was on my way to a new version of this delectable Purim treat.
If you’re not familiar with hamantaschen, consider them basically open-faced hand pies, or plain cookies that envelope a tasty filling. Shaped like a three-corner hat, they cook in about 22 minutes and freeze well.
I use a butter and sour cream dough – see the apricot hamantaschen from last week or my earlier nutella hamantaschen. If you prefer a non-dairy (pareve) dough, consider the one my friend Anshie used in her fabulous lemon hamantaschen. Obviously to make that one dairy-free chose water, rather than milk, as the liquid.
And while you shouldn’t say you heard it from me, when you’re in a rush, a decent commercial pie dough works too. (I mean the kind you find rolled up in a long thin box in the refrigerator section of the grocery.) Or better yet, use a refrigerated cookie dough, rolled out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
The filling for these apple pie hamantaschen comes together in minutes. I like using more than one variety of apples because I think it provides a depth of flavor that you just can’t get with a single type of apple. Yellow and red delicious work well (I use red delicious in my apple cake), as do many other varieties. I happened to grab a Gala apple this time; Granny Smiths are a good choice too. In fact, almost any variety is good, as long as the apples are tasty and hold their shape reasonably well. (The one variety I would stay away from is Macintosh: they disintegrate quickly and don’t have much taste.) I’ve added cinnamon and nutmeg, but feel free to get wilder – ginger anyone?
The filling starts out as a lot – 4 cups of chopped apple – but by the time it cooks for 10 minutes, you’ll have barely 2 cups.
Here’s the method for making a 3 1/2 inch round into a three-cornered hat.
Baking the apple pie hamantaschen on a parchment-lined baking sheet with another baking sheet underneath (doubled pans, as for rugelach) means that the tops get golden and the bottoms do not get too dark.
I could have eaten half the batch as they came out of the oven, but I satisfied myself with one and simply breathed in the incredible aroma. Apple pie should be a perfume, as well as a pastry.