Can lemons be a favorite food? Because they are totally mine. I like lemons in my breakfast foods (lemon ricotta pancakes mmm), I like lemons in my lunches (grilled lemon chicken salad mmm), I like lemons in my dinner (salmon slow roasted with lemons and tomatoes mmm), and I obviously love lemons in my desserts (lemon cookies, lemon cakes, lemon bars, lemon candies, lemon sorbet...I could keep going!)
I don't think I've met many hamentaschen I haven't liked. Pair a delicate, lightly sweet cookie dough with a fruity or chocolaty filling and I am ready to eat it any time of day. For some reason though, I have never seen a lemon flavored hamentaschen! Despite the fact that the majority of dough recipes call for both lemon juice and lemon zest. Isn't it obvious that a tart and citrusy filling is what that shell is begging to be filled with!! I think so.
Every year I make my hamentaschen using the Spice and Spirit recipe, if you've never heard of the big purple Jewish mother's bible go get it on amazon and thank me later. This book is filled cover to cover with old country recipes like stuffed cabbage, mandelbreads, and of course hamentaschen. This is the only dough I will use and it is fool-proof. One note, add that last 1/2 cup of flour slowly, I didn't end up needing the entire thing and had I added it quickly my dough would have been too dry. You can fill this dough with absolutely any filling, but I highly recommend you make the following lemon curd and fill these babies up in style. Prepare to be amazed and ask yourself, why didn't I think of that?
Dough recipe from Spice and Spirit with a few adaptations to make it a little more lemony
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of two lemons
1 tsp. lemon extract
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
2. Grease cookie sheet.
3. Beat eggs and sugar. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Divide into four parts.
4. Proceed to assemble adding 1 tsp of lemon curd to the center of the cookie, bake for 10 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Lemon Curd (filling)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (it took me 6 lemons for this)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
4 tbsp butter or margarine (chopped)
1 tbsp lemon zest
1. In a small saucepan cook together the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, and salt until both the sugar and salt have dissolved completely.
2. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and egg yolks until nicely combined.
3. Slowly add half of the lemon juice mixture to the egg mixture and stir well, this is called tempering the eggs. If we add all the hot lemon juice we could possibly scramble the eggs which we do not want!
4. Return to the stove and add the rest of the lemon mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly for five minutes. You should notice the curd has thickened quite a bit.
5. Pour the curd through a strainer or cheese cloth to get all the small inevitable egg bits out.
6. Stir the butter or margarine into the lemon curd until its completely melted.
7. To store, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the curd so a film doesn't appear at the top.
8. Before using it as a hamentaschen filling, refrigerate for a few hours so it has time to solidify.