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Japan is known for its convenience stores (called konbini) that sell a vast array of food (like Lawson's, Family Mart and 7-Eleven). In fact, even simple foods like egg sandwiches (tamago sando) and onigiri are must-tries when visiting the country! We previously shared a recipe for tamago sando that's super easy and delicious, but there's also another sandwich that often gets mentioned when talking about kombini food - the Japanese fruit sandwich, also known as fruit sando! Featuring cream and fresh fruit sandwiched between soft slices of bread, it's another simple yet delicious treat that's a crowd favourite. And just like tamago sando, it's super easy to make yourself too! We have a halal Japanese fruit sandwich that's simple to put together and pretty to look at too ?
Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches)
4 slices of Hokkaido milk bread (Make your own with our milk bread recipe! Or regular white bread works too, in a pinch ?)
200ml whipping cream
Fruits of your choice (popular options include strawberries, kiwis, navel oranges, peaches and grapes)
3 tsp sugar
A dash of vanilla essence
Wash and prepare your fruits - if using kiwi or peaches/nectarines, trim the ends and peel off the skin. If using strawberries, hull them (i.e. remove the leaves and the white core at the top of the strawberry). If using oranges, peel the outer skin and pith (the white inner layer) and peel into the separate orange segments.
In a medium bowl that's been chilled (or you can also place the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice water), pour in the whipping cream. Using chilled beaters on your hand mixer (or a chilled whisk, if you're whipping by hand), whip the cream until it's foamy and bubbly. Add the sugar and vanilla, and continue beating until the cream holds its shape. Don't overbeat as that will cause the cream to seize up and not look soft and billowy (though it'll still be delicious!).
Lay out the 4 slices of bread on a tray or large plate. Dollop most of the cream (leaving about a third behind) equally across the four slices of bread. Spread it out evenly over the bread using your spatula or a palette knife.
It's time to arrange the fruit! The important thing to remember is that we'll be slicing the sandwich on the diagonal, so you want to arrange the fruit in a way that will give you a nice cross-section when you slice into it. There should be a main arrangement of fruit diagonally across the middle of bread, such that you when you slice the sandwich in half, you slice right through the middle of the fruits. You can see how Nami from Just One Cookbook arranges fruit on her sandwiches below:
Using the remaining third of the cream spread it on top of the fruit to fill in the gaps and cracks. Take the other slices of bread and top to create the two sandwiches, pressing very gently.
Tear out a sheet of cling wrap and lay it on your counter. Place one of the sandwiches at the centre, then wrap it up tightly. Using a marker, mark on the cling wrap the line where you'll be slicing your sandwich later. Repeat with the other sandwich.
Place the sandwiches back on the tray or plate, then take another tray or plate to place on top to weigh it down slightly. Refrigerate for at least an hour - this will help the sandwich meld together and hold its shape when slicing.
Once you're ready to serve, unwrap your sandwich (remembering the line where you're supposed to slice!). Trim the edges of your sandwich. Then slice the sandwich on the diagonal.
From our experience, we know it can be mighty easy to forget which angle you're supposed to slice the sandwich, especially if you rotate the sandwich to sliced the edges (like we did!) ?It's not a big deal at all as either way, the sandwich will be delicious! But if you're looking for the prettiest cross-section, just remember to be aware when you unwrap your sandwich and remember the right way to slice it. You can also choose to cut the crusts off the bread at the start before spreading the cream and fruit, but we prefer to do it after as we feel it helps to keep the sandwich together when you wrap it up, while also making the edges of the sandwich neater (especially as some cream will probably ooze out the sides when your wrap it up).
For less fuss, you can also choose to just slice your sandwiches in half vertically. Just arrange your fruits in vertical rows on your bread (with one row of fruit right at the centre). When unwrapped, slice right at the centre of the bread, cutting through the middle row of fruit. You can see how it's done on Maison Olivia's Youtube video here.
When slicing the bread, it helps to wipe the knife clean between cuts so as not to smudge cream everywhere.
Some recipe variations add cream cheese or mascarpone for a slightly tangier filling. If you'd like to try this, just reduce the whipped cream to 100g, and add 100g softened cream cheese or mascarpone.
Fruit sando is made of such simple ingredients, yet when combined together makes for a delicious dessert. Make this for yourself while dreaming of future trips to Japan when it's safe to travel again! And if you have extra bread, don't forget to make yummy tamago sando (Japanese egg sandwiches) too!