A chewy mochi pie crust with sesame paste and pistachio pudding filling.
I recently acquired a small amount of mochi rice, and I wanted to experiment with different ways to use its texture. How convenient for the Pi Day contest!
If you've never heard of mochi, its a "rice cake" that is popular in Japan. When dry, it can be rather hard, but it is usually associated with its soft and chewy texture. Traditional mochi making involves cooking a short-grain glutinous rice, folding it, and beating it until it forms a smooth dough-like texture. It can be quite amazing to watch. It is extremely sticky, and requires a lot of patience, starch, and water to work with.
Warning: Following this instructable will most likely cause your kitchen to explode into a dirty mess. This pie is pretty complicated to make, and it can get frustrating. Please keep this in mind.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
For the Mochi:
1 cup Mochi Rice
Lots of Water
Vegetable Oil, for coating the pans
Cornstarch, a large amount for kneading and dusting
For the Sesame Paste:
0.5 cup Toasted Black Sesame Seeds (plus extra for decorating)
0.25 cup White Sugar
0.25 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
For the Filling:
1 package Instant Pistachio Pudding
1.5 cups Milk
Step 2: Gather Tools
For the Mochi:
Electric Steamer (or rice cooker or pot you like to cook rice in)
Large Wooden Spoon
Heavy Pie Plate
Cast iron pan (about the size of the pie plate)
Small Sharp Knife
Fine Mesh Strainer
For the Sesame Paste:
Spice Grinder (or coffee grinder)
For the Filling:
Step 3: Begin Mochi Rice Making
Start by measuring out the mochi rice.
Put the rice into a bowl and run cool water over it. Empty the water out and refill. Repeat 2-3 times.
Using your hand, gently rub the rice grains together to speed up the rinsing process.
Empty the water and refill several times, until the water is almost clear.
Strain the rice through the fine mesh. Return the rice to the bowl and add 1.5 cups of water.
Set the rice aside to soak for at least one hour.
Step 4: Prepare the Sesame Paste
Measure out the roasted sesame seeds and place in the spice grinder. Process until the seeds have formed an oily/sticky consistency.
Empty the ground sesame into a small saucepan and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix until combined.
Add the 1/4 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Mix until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir. Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Once thickened, set aside to cool. Place in the refrigerator until later.
Step 5: Cook and Knead the Mochi Rice
Cook the mochi rice just as you would regular white rice.
I chose to use my electric steamer. I followed the instructions on my machine for cooking rice: water level high, timer to 50 minutes.
Pour the rice and soaking water into the steamer and cook as instructed. (You do not need to remeasure the water, just used what the rice was already soaking in!)
Once the rice is finished cooking, it should look similar to regular cooked white rice. There should be no extra liquid left over.
Pour the cooked rice into the bread machine. On my bread machine, I changed the settings to "dough," since I only wanted to knead the rice.
I let the machine run for about 20 minutes, and then stop it manually.
The dough should look like a big gooey ball inside the machine.
Step 6: Prepare and Cook the Mochi Crust
Place your pan on the stove and oil it so that the mochi won't stick. Heat the pan to medium-high. Fill a small bowl with warm water and dip your wooden spoon into it to get it wet.
Take the cornstarch and coat a smooth working surface liberally. Turn out your mochi dough onto the cornstarch, and remove the mixing paddle from the mixure. Coat your hands with cornstarch, sprinkle the top of the mochi with cornstarch, and fold until it can be picked up without sticking to your hands.
Place the mochi in the center of the heated pan. Wipe your hands off (because they will probably be caked with cornstarch and mochi), then use the wooden spoon to push the mochi around the pan, into a pie crust shape. Remember to keep dipping the spoon in the water so that it will not stick to the mochi.
After a few minutes, the bottom of the mochi should become a little stiff and crunchy. It should easily slide out of the pan. Slide it out into an oiled pie plate.
Preheat your broiler to high. Use the wooden spoon the reshape the sides of the mochi that have moved during the transfer. Place the mochi crust under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until it becomes crunchy and golden. Remove from oven and use a knife to deflate the puffy center of your crust. Allow your crust to cool for a few minutes.
Step 7: Add Fillings and Finish
Once the crust has cooled some, remove your sesame paste from the refrigerator. Using a spoon, scoop the paste onto the crust and spread the mixture towards the edges of the crust.
Measure out the ingreients for your instant pudding. Follow the directions for making pie filling, as this usually requires less liquid than regular pudding. Whisk until the mixture has thickened and can be scooped onto the pie.
Smooth the filling out over the sesame paste. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, and refrigerate.
After the pudding has completely set... Cut, serve, and EAT your pie!