During the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, Asian cultures from Vietnam to China celebrate the harvest moon in a tradition that dates back over 3000 years. What was once a sacrificial rite in honor of the moon goddess is now a week long holiday with lanterns, tea ceremonies, mooncakes and time spent with family basking in the glory of moon the at her most round and full moment.
Mooncakes are round pastries, often stamped with mooncake molds and filled with meat, red bean, glutinous rice. This one, filled with nuts, seeds, spices and fruit is more my cup of tea. Serve it with a nice cup of Puerh.
You will need:
For the filling: Combine and blend in a food processor:
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cups raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup honey
a generous pinch of flaky salt
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice (preferably freshly ground)
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the OPTIONAL pastry: Combine, knead, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour:
2 cups glutinous rice or wheat flour
1/2 cup honey or golden syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
small pinch of salt
Form 2 ounce (2 Tablespoon) portions of filling into round discs in your hands. Each will be 2-3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 an inch thick. They are ready to eat!
If you choose to wrap them in pastry, then preheat an oven to 350 degrees F
Separate the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a thin circle.
Place one disc of filling in the center of each piece of dough and wrap the dough around the edges. Just press the dough in place until you can not see any more filling.
Brush with an optional egg wash and bake for 8- 10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with your favorite Autumn tea.