When choosing a filling for cookies or pastries, using the right recipe is important. While it may be tempting to use jam or preserves to fill your baked treats, the texture is generally too thin for this purpose. A filling needs to be thick to stand up to the high heat of baking. This apricot filling known as lekvar (apricot butter) is perfect for filling hamantaschen, cookies, kolaches, or pastries.
This filling is so easy to make, and the results are scrumptious. Apricot doesn’t need much “dressing up”– the sweetness of a baked cookie or pastry combined with this succulent, slightly tart filling make for a truly special treat. I love using this filling for hamantaschen, the traditional Jewish cookie for the holiday Purim. It also works really well for kolaches. You can use it to fill danishes, swirl it through sweet baked cakes (strudel or apricot babka anyone?), or use it as a spreadable apricot butter. So many possibilities!
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Apricot Filling for Cookies, Pastries, Hamantaschen and Kolaches
- 2 cups dried pitted apricots
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil for one minute.
- Reduce heat to medium low so the mixture simmers slowly and constantly. Cover the pot.
- Let the mixture simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pan. Let the apricots continue to simmer for 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated/absorbed. Keep a close eye on the pan to make sure the apricots don't burn. When there are about 3 tbsp of liquid left in the pan, remove from heat.
- Mash the apricots with a potato masher till a smooth puree forms. Run a fork through the mixture to break up any pieces the potato masher missed. You can also use an immersion blender for a smoother puree, if desired.
- Let cool to room temperature before using. Store in a sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator. Refrigerating the filling to chill completely will make it easier to work with when filling cookies like hamantaschen.