Berry Berry Pie

Cut yourself a slice of the
mixed berry pie!
Summer and it's berry pie season. I've always favored apple pies but after seeing all of the fresh berries in the store I was too tempted to buy them.

This pie combines all of the berries you like - strawberry, blueberry and raspberry. You can add a few pieces of rhubarb for more variation if you like. Rhubard is difficult to find around Tokyo so I don't use it.

The recipe for the crust below is very flaky and crisp so I highly recommend it.

170 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 grams butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg

1. Put  flour in a bowl and lightly whisk to add air. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Use a pastry cutter to mix in the butter. Can also use fingers to mix in the butter - should be blended well. Add in the egg.
2. Put on a board and use the heal of your hand to mix everything to ensure it is a smooth texture.  
3. Shape into a ball and flatten. Cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or so before rolling out.  Neatly roll out to fit a 18 cm baking pan. Keep out extra for the top
Prepare Berries
Brush with egg before baking
1. Cut the berries into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 35 grams flour and 35 grams sugar then add to the berries and mix using a spatula.
2. Pour the berries into the pie shell and cut out another piece of dough for the top. Decorate the top nicely and brush with egg.
3. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 - 40 minutes depending on the size of the pie pan.

Cool thoroughly before serving

Fresh and Creamy Berry Mousse

Forget dinner, go straight to dessert!
There is a great kitchen supply area in Tokyo called Kappabashi and I bought  cute dessert cups there so had to make something to fill them.

This dessert has several items in it - strawberry mousse, cake, custard cream, and fresh strawberries and blueberries. I am providing the recipes if you want to make everything from scratch but you can substitute store bought things such as the cake if you need to save time.

2 eggs
60 grams sugar
1 teaspoon water
50 grams flour (sifted)
20 grams butter (melt over hot water)

1. Whip the eggs and add the  sugar and water until they are yellow and fluffy. Add the sifted flour and mix well then add in the melted butter - add in portions and mix each time before adding more.
2. Pour into a square baking sheet (about 20 cm x 20 cm) which is covered with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Cool after removing from the oven.

Custard Cream:
2 egg yolks
100 cc milk
20 grams sugar
15 grams flour
1 teaspoon strawberry liquor

1. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and flour using a small whisk. Heat the milk in a saucepan until lightly boiling then add to the egg yolk mixture and mix. Add back to the saucepan and cook on a low heat until it thickens. Continually mix using a small whisk. Do NOT overheat.
2. Remove from the pan and cool in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap while it cools so that the top does not become hardened.

Strawberry Mouse
100 grams cream cheese (softened)
50 grams sugar
200 grams strawberry puree
6 grams gelatin (softened in water)
200 grams fresh cream

1. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar.
2. In a saucepan, lightly heat the strawberry puree. Turn off the heat then add the gelatin. Mix with a small whisk until it is all dissolved. Pour into a bowl and cool.
3. In a separate bowl, whip the fresh cream until peaks appear, do not over whip.
4. When the puree is room temperature, add it in portions to the cream cheese and mix well using a whisk. Place this over a bowl filled with ice to firm up the puree. Keep the puree over the ice water until it becomes pudding consistency. Use a whisk to keep it loose.
5. Add the fresh cream in portions to the puree mixture, use a whisk to mix.

Putting Things Together
1. Cut the cake to fit in the bottom of the dessert cup then layer with the custard, fresh berries and mousse. You can design the dessert as you like ;)
2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

Dessert is ready!

Flaky Coconut Oil Raisin Scones

Flaky Coconut Oil Scones
I finally thought I should try baking with coconut oil so I bought a jar of it. It really is quite oily. I took a small taste from the jar and it was like eating coconut flavored lard.

Anyway, I persevered and went on baking. This recipe is incredibly simple and only takes about 15 minutes to put together. You actually can bake them for breakfast!

The texture of the scones if very flaky and not crumbly as can happen with scones. I highly recommend baking scones with the coconut oil if you don't mind the taste of coconut.

200 grams flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
80 grams coconut oil
20 grams sugar
100 grams dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries
100 grams milk (room temperature)

1. In a bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together then add the salt. Mix in the coconut oil using a fork then add the sugar.
2. Mix in the milk. You can use a spatula to mix together. Lastly, add the dried fruit.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Lightly knead for a couple of minutes to ensure everything is well mixed.
4. Use your hand to flatten the dough to about 3.5 cm high. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut each piece. Place on a baking pan. Makes about 8 pieces.
5. Brush with milk before baking. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 15 - 18 minutes.