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Delicate Pockets of Sweetness for Purim
Purim festivities include costume parades and suedahs -- festive meals eaten as night falls.
Jayne Cohen, author of Jewish Holiday Cooking, suggests these delicate, sweetly-filled kreplach for your Purim table.
Poached Prune Kreplach With Honeyed Cream and Pecans(Dairy)
24 plump, pitted prunes
2-3 cups sweet red wine or red Concord grape juice to cover the prunes
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
48 wonton wrappers, at room temperature
2 large eggs beaten with 2 tsps. water
Honeyed Cream Ingredients:
11/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsps. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Combine the prunes, wine, cinnamon, cloves and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat, partially covered until the prunes are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Boil for a few minutes, uncovered, over high heat, stirring constantly, to evaporate any remaining liquid, watching that the mixture does not burn.
Discard the cinnamon stick and cloves and let the prunes cool in the pan. Refrigerate them, covered, for at least 20 to 25 minutes before stuffing the kreplach.
To assemble kreplach: Keep wonton wrappers covered with plastic wrap or a slightly dampened kitchen towel to prevent cracking and drying.
Place a wrapper on a slightly floured surface and mound 1 tablespoon of the filing in the center of the wrapper.
Dip your fingers into egg wash and "paint" the edges of the wrapper all around the filling. Cover with a second wrapper.
Carefully press down all around the filling to force out all the air and seal the edges firmly. Trim away any excess dough around the filling with a sharp knife. (You can also use cookie cutters to make festive shapes.)
In a large, very wide pot, bring at least 5 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil.
Slip in the kreplach, one by one, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. (If necessary, cook them in batches.)
Poach for 3 to 6 minutes, until tender. Lift the kreplach out, a few at a time, with a large skimmer, gently shaking the skimmer so the water drains back into the pot. (The kreplach are too fragile to pour into a colander.)
To prepare the sauce: Put the cream, honey and vanilla in a heavy, medium saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until reduced by about half. (If allowed to cool, reheat the sauce slowly until hot before serving.)
To serve, cover three to four kreplach with the honey cream and sprinkle with the pecans.
Serves 6 to 8.