Jis 0915 cooking pumpkin borekas bdhna2

Image: Olivia Brent

Makes 40–50 borekas

A boreka is a Sephardic pastry often filled with cheese, rice, or pumpkin, customary during the Sephardic Rosh Hashanah seder. Based on wordplay, pumpkin represents a petition for God to tear up evil decrees against us in the coming year. 

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 3 T tapioca starch or more to absorb moisture
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed


  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ c water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6–7 c flour


  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon sugar (optional)

(1) Mix all filling ingredients and let sit 5 minutes before using. (2) Bring the oil, water, and salt to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and stir in 6 cups of the flour. Add more flour as needed until dough is smooth. Let cool, knead it a little, and transfer to a bowl. Cover
the bowl if the dough starts to
get dry. (3) Divide dough into walnut-size balls. Roll out each into a circle about 4” in diameter. Place about a tablespoon of filling in the center and fold over. Press the edges together by fluting them or pressing with the tines of a fork. Brush the tops of the borekas with beaten egg. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste.
(4) Bake in a 400° oven for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown.

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