Autumn Moon Cakes
|For date & prune paste|
|Whole pitted dates||8 Ounce, chopped|
|Whole pitted prunes||6 Ounce, chopped|
|Orange||1 Small, peel grated freshly|
|Fresh orange juice||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Fresh lemon juice||1 Tablespoon|
|Flaked coconut||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Toasted pine nuts/Chopped toasted blanched almonds / chopped toasted walnuts||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Moon cake dough|
|Sifted all purpose flour||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), lightly spooned into cup|
|Packed light brown sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Five spice powder||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Unsalted butter||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chilled, cut in small pieces|
|Vegetable shortening||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Vanilla extract||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
Grease 10 (3-inch) ruffled or fluted tartlet pans or brioche pans.
Prepare Date & Prune Paste and Moon Cake Dough.
To form moon cakes, divide Moon Cake Dough in 10 even-sized balls.
Dust 1 ball in flour.
Flatten in a circle about 3- to 3-1/2-inches in diameter.
Place 1 tablespoon of Date & Prune Paste in center of dough.
Fold dough gently around paste in a ball.
Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Press balls into greased pans; press tops flat.
Set pans on a baking sheet.
Chill at least 1 hour or up to several hours.
Preheat oven to 325F (165C).
Bake on baking sheet in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes or until golden-brown.
Cool 5 minutes.
Run a small knife gently around edge of pans.
Invert and remove pans.
Slice in wedges.
Store in an air-tight container up to several days.
Date & Prune Paste: In a medium-size saucepan, combine dates, prunes, orange peel and juice, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
Cook over medium-low heat about 20 minutes or until thickened.
Stir often, increasing stirring as paste becomes thicker and slightly dry.
If necessary, reduce heat as paste thickens to prevent burning.
Stir in butter, coconut, nuts and vanilla.
Use at once or refrigerate in a covered container until needed.
Moon Cake Dough: In a medium-size bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, salt and five-spice powder with hands.
Add butter and shortening by large spoonfuls.
Sprinkle with vanilla.
With hands, work fat into flour until mixture becomes crumbly and forms a ball.
If mixture is dry, add enough water to work mixture until a ball is formed.
Use at once or wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Let dough stand at room temperature until workable.