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Author Notes: The most traditional filling for Cantonese-style mooncakes, homemade white lotus paste is fragrant, delicate and floral. Many store-bought fillings incorporate lard for a richer mouthfeel. Feel free to use it below, though I opted for coconut oil for my own mooncakes, since it's similarly solid at room temperature, but a bit more accessible, and adds a fun coconut undertone to the flavor profile. —cynthia | two red bowls
Makes 2 cups
- 1 cup dried lotus seeds, or two 12-ounce cans cooked lotus seeds in water
- 2/3 to 3/4 cups sugar (to taste)
- Pinch salt (optional)
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil
- Place the seeds in a pot with plenty of water and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Let the seeds cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until they are soft enough that you can mash them with a fork.
- Drain the cooked seeds, then place them in a food processor with the sugar and a slight pinch of salt (if desired) and blend until smooth. (If you're using canned lotus seeds, skip straight to this step.) You may need to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water in this step.
- Next, pour the purée into a medium saucepan or skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until much of the water has been cooked away and the purée has thickened to a consistency similar to hummus. At this point, if the purée isn’t as smooth as you like, you can blend it again.
- When your purée is the consistency of your liking, add the fat of your choice. Most any fat that is solid at room temperature (excluding butter) should work for this.
- Stir the mixture until the fat is fully incorporated, then continue to cook over medium heat until the purée becomes glossy and forms a dough that sticks to the spoon in one mass, about 4 to 5 minutes. The consistency should be similar to soft cookie dough at this point. Remove from heat and chill until ready to use.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!