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Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’


Happy 2010! I can’t believe that another year has flown by so quickly. Foodwise, winter usually makes me think of baked goods and thick soups, fresh tea and oatmeal, you know, warming foods to chase away the cold that seeps into my uninsulated apartment and has taken over school hallways. >_<

For some reason, all I can think about today is this perfect skewer of sweet strawberries and grapes, dipped in molten red sugar and left to harden in the winter air of a Pusan street market. Candied fruit seems like an unlikely thing to associate with winter, but they make a regular appearance in Japan and China, as well as South Korea. In Japan, tiny apples and plums covered in hard sugar, or apricots and mikan in soft mizuame pop up at winter festivals on New Year’s Eve. In China, you can find tanghulu , the traditional sugar covered hawthorn fruit and foot long skewers of candied fruit from strawberries to kiwi and bananas, wrapped in a thin layer of rice paper to keep them from sticking to each other.

Since the ingredients of a candied fruit skewer are  just fruit, sugar and usually a dash of food coloring, it tastes sweet and fruity…but mostly just sweet. The draw for me is not the flavor so much as it is the texture. The crunch as you bite through the layer of hard sugar into the soft fruit is kind of addicting, and even as you complain that it is too sweet, or that the sugar has stuck in your teeth, you find yourself wanting another skewer the next time you walk past the stall.

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If there is a dessert that Japan excels at, it would be the parfait. None of this single topping nonsense, instead the parfait is a work of art and balance.
Case in point, this Fruit and Yogurt parfait.
Fresh strawberries, pineapple and bananas carefully balanced on a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, atop layers of soft serve and crunchy granola with dried fruit. All topped off with a swirl of whipped cream, strawberry sauce, a sprig of mint and a cookie pirouette.

Sunburst Cafe @ Isawa, Yamanashi, Japan

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I’m sad I didn’t shoot this with something to scale. This was massive. Easily around 10cm in diameter.And I ate it all. 🙂

Strawberry and Mango Ice Monster: Very finely shaved ice, layered with milk and sugar syrup, and then topped wit strawberries, mangoes and condensed milk. A very chic version of ais kacang or pat bing su.

Ice Monster@ Bangkok, Thailand

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strawberry kiwi fruit tart
My new favorite way to use fresh fruit in season. Sweet but still very light and refreshing.
I didn’t have a proper tart tin, so I used a 15cm pie dish.
Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Tart
Pastry:

  • 200g all purpose flour
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg (beaten)

Filling:

  • 100g cream cheese (softened at room temp.)
  • 80 ml heavy cream
  • 30g confectioner’s sugar
  • a dash of vanilla essence
  • 15ml lemon juice

Fruit(really, you can use any fresh fruit that you like):

  • 2 kiwi fruits (peeled and sliced)
  • 8 medium strawberries (hulled and sliced)
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • a pinch of granulated sugar

—-
Pastry:
1.Sift together flour and brown sugar into a medium bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and use a fork or potato masher to combine into flour and sugar until the butter is in small crumbs.
2. Beat 1 egg and add to flour, butter, sugar mixture. Mix.
3. The mixture should be a little moist. You should be able to press the crumbs together to make a dough. If it starts to feel very greasy, refrigerate until it is firm again.
4. Roll out dough to about a centimeter thick, and press into pie pan. Line the top of the tart shell with aluminum foil and place dried beans or a heavy bake dish around the same size as the interior of the pie dish in the center to weigh down the shell. Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius. Bake for 10-14 minutes until golden brown. Remove foil and beans/bake ware.
5. Thoroughly chill tart shell in the refrigerator.

Filling:
1. Using a fork, mix the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
2. Use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese mixture and gradually add in heavy cream.
3. Mix until the filling is soft and smooth.
4. Using a spatula, fill the chilled tart shell and set aside.

Fruit:
1. Gently toss strawberries in lemon juice and granulated sugar.
2. Arrange kiwi slices and strawberries however you like on the top of the tart.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy!

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kyuushoky shrimp

This month’s お楽しみ給食, fun school lunch !
From the left,
Corn Cream Soup: A cream stew with sweet corn, onions and bacon.
Potato and cucumber salad: mashed potatoes, sliced cucumbers with mayonnaise.
Ebi Fry: shrimp rolled in panko, and deep fried.
Strawberries
Butter croissant roll.

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strawberry cupcake

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake: Baked by a group of my 9th grade boys for Cooking class. It was delicious, and came with a surprise…

At the bottom of the cupcake were crunchy cornflakes!

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Strawberry Young

Strawberry Young (苺ヤング): Layers of vanilla soft serve, strawberry ice cream, cornflakes, fruit and whipped cream. The sheer amount of ice cream sent me into a dairy coma.

Mascot @ Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

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