Walnut crust blue sweet potato pie


It’s very a simple and delicious coffee cake. Few ingredients, little process and full flavor.


Purple satsuma imo sweet potato. The potato has already a flavor of almond cream cake, so not much is needed.


I took the flesh of a baked potato, and smashed it with a little coconut cream, a little Grand Marnier liquor and very little sugar. Just mixed.


The crust is walnut, oatmeal, a little sugar, a pinch of salt and very little water, together in the blender. Then put in molds and dried in the oven. Well I should have taken it out before filling…
The taste is really pure walnut


So just fill the crust.


Serve chilled or warm. And enjoy with your coffee.



Autumn colors (1) : Pumpkin crust


A pie crust colored by the golds of Autumn. It’s easy, delicious and you can use it for many recipes or pies, tarts, etc.

The season’s star : kabocha pumpkin. You can use other types of pumpkin, some will be more watery so you will need to add less water.


Kabocha pumpkin crust : 1/3 boiled pumpkin flesh, 1/3 flour, 1/3 whole wheat flour. Plus a little baling powder, salt and enough of the squash cooking water to for a dough.
It’s not very solid when raw, so spread it on a silpat or a plastic film.

That gives the neutral version for both sweet and savory pies, but you can add sugar or salt and spices too.


Then I baked them at 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.


A dessert version, very lazy. I’ve garnished with coconut cream, walnuts, unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa mass), cinnamon. The only “sugar” is a minced prune.


Yamamomo on the pie, when strawberries grow on trees…


It’s a second version of the Japanese flavor pie. I have added yamamomo a season fruit.


So this is the beast. The “Chinese strawberries”. They grow on trees, particularly in Shikoku islands. In Japanese, they are called 山桃 yamamomo (mountain peaches). Even though it’s a very ancient Japanese fruit, it’s not so common on markets these days. I’m glad when I can get some.

2013-06-113 pie base here


Then place a few yamamomo (the greenest, not so good to eat raw) and the filling and a little cane sugar on each.Bake.


Coat with raspberry jelly. Let cool.


Like the basic pie, it’s delicious served chilled.


A Japanese flavor pie




So that’s this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge.

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!

You’ll see 2 more soon :
DSC04027-001yamamomo pie
DSC05410-001crostata with ume plum jam
DSC03676-001no bake cherry cream pie

I have used local ingredients. We have not so many fruits that do well in pies in Japan, buy sweet potatoes are ideal.


栗黄金 kurikogane (chestnut yellow gold sweet potato)

The baked potato becomes colorful.

Yuzu, the Japanese aromatic citrus.


As the potato is naturally very sweet, no added sugar here. I approximated the amounts for the dough.


I’ve prepared it like a flaky pie dough.


Flowers instead of a top or a net.


Kiwi nutty tartelette

Nothing better than a dessert full of vitamins. A kiwi tartelette is always beautiful. Do you remember this one :

kiwi haupia pie

Instead of haupia, I’ve used a leftover of two nut cream :

I’ve received a new batch of Osaka kiwi. They are very sweet.

A pre-baked oatmeal crust, the nut cream and after baking, fresh kiwi slices.

Not much effort to get such a gorgeous dessert.

Black rice bread

Bread with black rice.
Where does this idea come from ? Daring Bakers. But not only.
Well, that’s floating in the air. Now in Japan, there is a real craze (orchestrated by marketing wizards) around the Home Bakery machines that make bread from rice. Well, that’s not really possible to make bread with only rice as it lacks gluten. There are various *tricks*, but here I simply added the rice to bread flour, inspired by Daring Baker’s brown rice bread recipe.

I was experimenting the Dutch crunch for the “tiger bread” of the challenge. I had the “plain rice flour” called by the recipe. So I tried 2 substitutes here and I didn’t get the expected tiger effect, but those funny rolls.

That’s Chinese black rice. Is it sticky rice ? Maybe. I don’t know what I buy ? Hey, no. That’s the charm of shopping in Chinatown. That’s not that they can’t speak Japanese, that’s they are friendly like jail doors. They don’t talk to you. They write minimal information on packages. Like for rice, they put in a transparent bag : you can see what it is. The label has only origin and date, as that’s compulsory. So, it seems semi-sticky. I wish I could tell you…

I cooked it normally in the rice cooker and I put one cup in the blender with 3 cups of water to get a thick sauce. I made a normal bread dough with this addition, in Kiki (my home-bakery).

Surprise : the dough went very high (3 to 4 times the initial volume) and it was VERY sticky and when I tried to take it with a spoon it made bubbles ! I think that’s the effect of the stickiness of the rice.

First experiment : Corn starch coating. It never became a paste, it leaked around.

Second experiment : Joshinko coating. Joshinko is a rice *processed flour* used to make Japanese sweets.

The bread was as you see pink inside, very soft and fluffy. Well perfect toast bread.

The corn starch coating, that looks like plaster. That tastes… not. Nothing. That’s decorative, if you like white…

Joshinko coating gave a tastier crust, but no tiger skin effect. The bun didn’t raise as much as it should.

Well interesting. I’ll make more breads with rice.

Rising Sun melon-pan

Melon Pan or Sunrise

Caution : cult food !

That’s Hina Matsuri (festival of little girls) in Japan this week-end, so I can get a sweet treat, coz I’m a little girl, just bigger.

If you have never had them, that’s a soft sweet bread roll that has a crunchy rind, unlike a melon… Contrarily to some rumor, they are not melon flavored. Unless they are, in which case they would become “melon melon pan”.

When I came to live in Japan, I put on 200 kilos in the first 3 months because those freaks are sold everywhere. Each baker adds his/her personal touch to the recipe and Osaka has 40 000 bakeries so I had to try the 100 000 variations. Then, when you stop eating them, you will lose the gained weight. But will you be able to stop ?

Total vice : they double as cream pan. They are filled with vanilla custard cream.

Making of :
Sweet roll bread (milk bread here, butter roll is OK), filled with the cream (or not), covered with a layer of cookie/tart dough (pâte Sucrée, flavored with lemon zest and vanilla), rolled in crystal sugar. Etc.

The bad news. This is for ONE little melon :

Cal 394 F16.1g C56.1g P8.2g

A cookie make with the leftover of “melon rind”.

Would you say this one is the melon pan ? or the sunrise ?
The 2 names exist, the 2 shapes exist. Nobody seems to agree. They made some surveys all over Japan to know what % of people called them this or that…