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Food Editor’s Note:  This is a variation of a recipe in Marcy Goldman's book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking (Doubleday, 1998).  This filling is like a thick puree and has an intense apricot flavor.  I much prefer it to the runny, weak-flavored apricot filling in store-bought pastries.  Use as much of this as you can within a week or two of making it, then freeze the rest for a future use.  This is so good, you’ll end up noshing on it plain!

1/2 cup water or orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 pound (2 to 3 cups) dried apricot halves
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup golden raisins

In a small saucepan, combine the water or orange juice, lemon juice, apricots, sugar, and raisins.  Simmer the fruit over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are soft.  Add additional water if it is evaporating more quickly than the fruit seems to be cooking down. 

Remove the pot from the stove and let the mixture cool for at least 5 minutes.  Place it in a food processor and process to a thick puree, adding additional water or orange juice if the mixture requires thinning.  Taste, and add additional sugar (a teaspoon at a time) if required.  Refrigerate the filling for up to 2 weeks or freeze it for up to six months.  If the chilled filling seems too stiff to use, loosen it with a little warm water or juice.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups

Apricot Filling (for hamantaschen and other pastries)


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