A staple of the Eastern European Jewish kitchen, lekvar can be made from a range of dried fruits, but the thick, intensely flavored version made with prune is the most iconic. Quality prunes will need little to no added sugar; try looking for the French d’Ente variety from Agen if it’s available. The lekvar will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and is great on toast and pancakes, stirred into oatmeal, or baked into jam cookies and tarts. You can even use it for hamantaschen, if you wish to nibble on Haman’s ears.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring prunes and water to a simmer, then cover and cook until prunes are meltingly tender, about 15 minutes. Depending on the moisture content of your prunes, you may need to add more water to keep prunes from drying out. If so, cook uncovered until the liquid in the pan is syrupy and bubbles stack on top of each other.
- Transfer mixture to a food processor and add kosher salt, then pulse until it develops into a thick paste. Taste, then add sugar in 2-tablespoon increments to desired sweetness, pulsing to combine between additions.
- Use immediately, or transfer lekvar to a very clean jar (a canning funnel is helpful), seal, and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Max Falkowitz is a food and travel writer for The New York Times, Saveur, GQ, New York magazine’s Grub Street, and other outlets. He’s also the coauthor of The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook with Helen You.