The most unusual ones I have made are for those I found in a Middle Eastern cookbook, dating from the 1950s. The author used to spend part of the year in Shushan and her best friend there was a Jewish girl in whose home she spent many happy Shabbats and Yomim Tovim. This recipe came from their family. It works very well with wholemeal or spelt flour as well.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 oz / 60g shelled walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 oz / 30g sultanas (raisins)
  • 1 oz / 30g stoned dates, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet red wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 4 oz / 115g plain flour
  • 4 oz / 115g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 oz / 30g icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 4 oz / 115g butter or margarine
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A little beaten egg white, to seal and glaze


  1. Put the nuts and fruit together in a bowl with the wine and cinnamon. Warm the honey, add to the bowl and stir well to mix. Cover and leave to macerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Make the pastry. Sift the flours, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and stir in the icing sugar. Add the margarine in small pieces and rub in with the fingertips. Make a well in the center, add the egg yolk, and 3 tablespoons chilled water, and mix to a soft dough. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease a heavy, flat baking tray and dust well with flour.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until ¼ inch/5mm thick and cut into 20-25 3 inch 7.5 cm circles with a plain pastry cutter. Put 1 teaspoon of the nut and fruit mixture in the center of each circle, and then brush all the way round the edge of each circle with beaten egg white. Fold the circle over and press to seal.
  4. Twist or crimp the edges. Brush the pastries all over with egg white to glaze. Place the Hamantaschen on the greased and floured tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Makes 20-25.