‘Lekvár’ refers to thick fruit butter, and when it comes to hamantaschen it typically refers to the prune filling (and sometimes apricot—although it is nothing like the more familiar store-bought apricot jams). Unsurprisingly, it is eastern European in origin.

This recipe is simple enough if you’re made hamantaschen before. But if this is your first foray, hop on over to my Mohn Poppyseed Hamantaschen recipe for a more comprehensive guide and step-by-step pictures.

Suggested uses for left-over lekvar:

  • Mix into yogurt
  • Spread over buttered toast, or over a smear of ricotta for a truly decadent breakfast
  • Use to fill other pastries or cookies (for example, rugelach)
  • Deliver a jar to your friends or neighbors
  • Also works as a topping for pancakes, French toast, English muffins, and waffles
  • Serve warm over vanilla ice cream (yes, really!)

Prune ‘Lekvar’ Butter Ingredients

  • 8 oz. (225 grams) pitted prunes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2-3 tbsp. brown sugar

Prune ‘Lekvar’ Butter Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients except the brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Uncover the pan, stir in the brown sugar, and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Mash with a potato masher, or, for a smoother jam, use a blender.
  4. Refrigerate until cool before using in your hamantaschen. (If you’re pressed for time, use the freezer to speed things along.) Keep remainder in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (see suggested uses above).

Dough Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Dough Directions

  1. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and the baking powder. Mix.
  3. Add the remaining flour until the dough forms a soft, but not sticky ball.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles.
  5. Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.
  6. Gently fold the sides and pinch shut tightly.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes on 350°F.

Yields: 20 Hamantaschen

Wondering why Hamantaschen are traditional Purim fare? You may have heard that Haman, the evil villain from the Purim story, was said to wear a triangular hat or to have had triangular ears. As you can read in our Purim Myths and Facts, there is no evidence for either of these theories. The pastry's symbolism is more about the filling than the shape. While living in the palace, Esther subsisted on seeds to keep from eating anything non-kosher. Hence, the seed-filled pastries (although nowadays other fillings are common too).

For a deeper look at the message behind the Hamantasch, read The Secret of the Hamantasch, Holy Hamantaschen, and Mystic Purim Pastries.