Last-Minute Meyer Lemon Hamantaschen

The finished Meyer Lemon Curd Hamantaschen ready to be eaten!When we had a baby I was insistent that we celebrate all our shared holidays as a family. ALL OF THEM. My significant other was alarmed, until he realized that when I said: ‘celebrate’, what I meant was: ‘eat treats’.

Despite my big talk, I’ve been a big failure at celebrating. For Yom Kippur last year we atoned over Thai takeout. St. Nicholas Day had been over for a week before I realized I missed it, and last week I went to a Darby O’Gill and the Little People viewing party and was halfway through my second helping of corned beef before thinking, “Oh right, St. Patrick’s Day.”

Luckily Smitten Kitchen recently posted a recipe for hamantaschen and I was reminded just in time to do something for Purim. (Guess what: last year I forgot about it.) So, just under the wire, I have produced a huge pile of Meyer Lemon Curd Hamantaschen. Not particularly traditional, not particularly hamantasch-shaped, but they are done and they are delicious. Patting myself on the back. Nice still life photo showing eggs, lemons, sugar, and the salt box. All the ingredients for the lemons curd except the butter, which I forgot to add to my little tableau.Buttery dough for the hamantaschen.Lemon curd cooking on a double boiler Cutting out circles of dough for the cookies. Filling the cookies with lemon curd.Cookies on the sheet waiting to be baked.Finished hamantaschen

2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tablespoons, or one stick)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

Lemon Curd
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon zest (~ 4 large lemons)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tablespoons, or one stick)

Melt the butter and mix it in a bowl with the sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour a half cup at a time, mixing with a large spoon until all the flour is incorporated. Form the dough into 2 clumps, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 40 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, bring a cup and a half of water to a simmer over a double boiler (or, like I do, a metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan with water in it). Don’t let the water boil, or it will curdle the eggs. Whisk together the sugar, lemon zest, salt, and lemon juice. Add the eggs to the metal bowl and place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and turns creamy, then decant the finished lemon curd into a clean container and set it in the fridge to chill. If you want to, you can strain your curd through a fine metal sieve to remove the zest before chilling. I like the zest though, so I don’t bother sieving.

When everything is chilled and you’re ready to bake, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 deg. F. Next roll out the dough to about 1/8th inch thick and use a biscuit cutter or thin drinking glass (plastic kid glasses work well) to cut out your circles. Add a teaspoon of filling to each circle, fold over the edges of the dough into a triangle shape and pinch each tip closed. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the dough is nicely browned. Let the cookies cool before serving.

Time to Make
Around 2 Hours
(15 minutes to collect ingredients and mix, 40 minutes to chill the dough, 30 minutes to make the lemon curd, 30 minutes to roll out/cut the dough and fill the cookies, 15 minutes to bake.)

Butter: $2.38
Eggs: $3.12 (Embarrassingly fancy eggs this week.)
Sugar: 48 cents
Flour: 46 cents
Vanilla: 56 cents
Baking Powder: 4 cents
Salt: Less than a penny
Lemon Zest: Free
Lemon Juice: Free
Total: $7.04 for 3 dozen hamantash cookies and a smidgen of leftover lemon curd. Really, all the cost was in the crazy eggs…

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