* i am reposting this moon cake recipe in honor of passover… this year i will be sure to make it with condensed milk, rather than evaporated! happy, happy pesach! x0x
we were still in amsterdam over passover this year, so we had a belated seder dinner this weekend. seders are a big deal to prepare… there’s all of the components of the seder plate, which depending on where you live, can be difficult to come by. in new york, all of the markets suddenly dedicate at least two aisles to passover related groceries in the week leading up to the holiday. in amsterdam, you would never know passover is happening. i had to roast a drumstick our first year living there because i couldn’t make the butcher understand the lamb shank. also, there is no matzo meal, only matzo crackers. in order to make matzo ball soup, i had to first grind up the crackers myself with a rolling pin. it was like little house on the jewish prairie in my amsterdam apartment. horseradish, also, is not easy to find. for that i would have to go to what we referred to as the "expat black market.” it’s a tiny shop on leidesgracht that caters to homesick american and british expats. the prices are outrageous, but it’s often the only place to get a crucial ingredient… a can of libby’s, libby’s, libby’s pumpkin, for example, is typically about ten euros around thanksgiving! so for a shiksa raising my children jewish (the faith of their father), seders can be a challenge, especially when we were living in the netherlands.
one of the best things about being in the expat community was meeting people from all over the world and learning about their various traditions and foods. my darling friend, pilar, is columbian and for one spring dinner party she brought a delicious flan for dessert. i love puddings and custards, but i had never tried to make one before. pilar graciously shared her recipe and i realized it didn’t break any passover rules. i was beside myself because cakes made with matzo meal generally are pretty dry and not great. cakes made with matzo meal that i have ground myself are terrible. so began our family’s tradition of passover moon cake - what my son called it for the simple reason that it looks like a moon. ENJOY and you don’t even have to wait for next passover because it’s not really even a passover recipe.
1 can condensed milk
1 can of cream
1 can of whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar
heat oven to 350 degrees. heat brown sugar in a sauce pan until melted. pour brown sugar into a glass pie pan. combine condensed milk, cream, whole milk, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. mix up with an electric hand mixer. pour into the pie pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until “it is brown and starts to smell good, dear” as pilar would say. let flan cool then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
* this year i made a very boulder (i.e. non-sweetened) moon cake… i accidentally bought evaporated milk, instead of condensed milk, and i didn’t have the energy to go back to the market. i blame this on my jet lag! i tried to doctor it by sprinkling extra brown sugar on top after the baking. the flan was still good, just lighter and not nearly as sweet. my kids were disappointed, but the adults all liked it, especially the bouldery ones.