Tomorrow is Mid-Autumn Festival! Happy early Mid-Autumn! I’m done all my mooncake making for this year (I made close to 10 batches!) and I did a little recap over on Instagram last night. Besides making mooncakes leading up to Mid-Autumn and having a family dinner the night of, I don’t do too much for Mid-Autumn. When I was younger, my family would join my friends’ families for a lantern walk around the neighbourhood but unfortunately that was a tradition we grew out of as we grew up. This year, however, I tried my hardest to add more Mid-Autumn festivities — tonight I’m going to a show at the planetarium (!!) where they’ll be projecting Mid-Autumn folklore onto the Star Theatre (!!!!!!) and tomorrow I’ll visit the Chinese Garden to enjoy all the lanterns and artwork. Apparently there will also be a mooncake tasting at the gardens, so I will finally be able to eat mooncakes made by someone else other than me. I always enjoy other people’s baking more than my own.
I feel like every Mid-Autumn I develop some new mooncake obsession. Three years ago, I was trying to perfect the traditional baked mooncake, while snow skin mooncakes were all I could think about the last two years. This year’s mooncake obsession is sablé. I know what you’re thinking… “Really Amy, sablé in mooncakes? That’s not traditional.” Traditional mooncakes have a softer, oil-based dough and I love that. I made several batches of mooncakes with a more traditional dough recipe but my favourite mooncakes that I made this year has to be the ones with a crisp, buttery sablé dough. The golden butter cookie crust gives such nice contrast to the creamy and jammy centres whether its bean paste, lotus paste, or pineapple.
This recipe combines a traditional white lotus filling with my new found love of sablé as mooncake pastry. You could make your own white lotus paste but I love going to the local Chinese bakery to ask if they sell their housemade lotus paste. Most Chinese grocery stores sell sweetened lotus paste too.
White Lotus Mooncakes with Sablé Crust
- 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 30 g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 165 g (1 cup + 6 tbsps) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 480 g sweetened white lotus paste, store bought or homemade (sweetened bean paste will work too)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
- In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and icing sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add egg yolk and mix until smooth.
- Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix on low speed until combine, about 1 minute.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal (20-grams) portions, using a scale if possible. Set aside
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the white lotus filling into 16 equal pieces (use a digital scale if you have one) and roll each portion of filling into a ball.
- Working with one piece at a time, roll the sablé dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface, gently flatten with the palm of your hand, and roll out to a 3-inch round with a rolling pin.
- Place a portion of the filling onto the rolled out dough, pull up the edges, and pinch together to seal. If the dough is too sticky, flour your hands when assembly.
- Place the filled cake inside the mooncake mold, seam side down, and gently press down with the plunger until it evenly fills the mold. Remove the plunger and transfer the mooncake onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and lotus filling.
- Brush the tops of each cake with egg wash.
- Bake mooncakes until golden, about 20 – 25 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.