Spiced Pumpkin Fig Borekas


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A Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur treat.

The Phyllo Dough


  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup of hot water
  • flour, for work surface and hands


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until it holds together.

Add 3 cups of flour to a large bowl (the remaining cup will be used when rolling out the dough). Make a well in the center and add water (start with 1 cup) and vinegar. Combine with a fork. Add the olive oil and continue mixing, adding more water if needed to make a soft dough.

On a floured surface, knead by hand for 15-20 minutes until soft and malleable, with a smooth feel. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before using.

I felt like I needed a baking companion. Not required, of course.

The next day — divide the dough into 18-20 equal pieces and roll each piece out to a rough oval shape, about 18-19 inches across, sprinkling the work surface and phyllo with flour to keep from sticking. You want phyllo dough to be as thin as possible. I imagine you don’t have a pasta machine, as I don’t, so here is a nifty link with pictures to help you master the art of rolling pins. (I would also suggest, just because this is seriously time intensive that you consider just buying pre-made phyllo sheets. There are even whole sites JUST dedicated to techniques using the pre-made stuff!

Spiced Pumpkin Fig Filling


  • 1 small peeled pumpkin, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, chopped in a food processor
  • 1 cup fig preserves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
  • salt, to taste


Place the pieces of pumpkin in a pot; add 2 cups of boiling water and a generous pinch of cooking salt. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Drain and mash (by hand, not in the food processor!).

Return the pumpkin, with all the other filling ingredients, to the pot together with the butter, but reserve 1/4 cup pistachios to sprinkle on top of the triangles.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. For a thicker filling, transfer to another container and cool in the refrigerator.

Now prepare the triangles. Roll out the dough into strips. Refer to link above for more guidance on rolling dough. 

Put on tablespoon at the edge of a strip, then fold over. As pictured below. Cut into triangle. Close with the tines of a fork.

Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. I washed these with almond milk (instead of eggs), but you can also use soy milk or oil as good vegan substitutes. I think sprinkled with the remaining chopped pistachios.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown, at 350 degrees.


1)      This recipe was modified from the Haaretz article. I made a number of changes, including the substitution of Earth Balance for butter, fig preserves for orange marmalade, addition of cardamom seeds, and the phyllo dough was my own creation.

2)      Unused phyllo can be kept in the refrigerator, in air-tight wrapping, for up to 10 days after making.

3)      As I mentioned above, though, if you can find vegan phyllo sheets ready to go, I’d use those. I did not succeed/am too lazy to make the sheets thin enough that I could layer them and make this more like baklava, which was my original intentions.

With all that said, though, these are quite delicious! Enjoy! 

If you have any filling suggestions, requests — please let me know 🙂

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