If it sounds that simple, it should be that simple. Right?

Do you ever come across a limited-time only food item that you wish you could have year-round?

Well, in September 2021, McDonald’s Japan released their annual Tsukimi moon-viewing series of food and desserts. The food items normally feature an egg, the yolk of which is supposed to represent the full moon, and the dessert items often star traditional Japanese flavors like red bean and mochi.

The Tsukimi pie was one such dessert. Simply put, it was red bean paste and fluffy mochi in a crispy pie crust. And our Japanese-language reporter Maro was crazy for it.

▼ At only 150 yen (US$1.31) a pop, it was the perfect cheap eat to end your meal with.

In fact, she liked it so much that she’s been disappointed that it’s no longer being sold. But she thought, “Hey, it can’t be that hard to make, right?”

So she set out on a mission to make her own Tsukimi pie on the fly. She went to the grocery store and picked up three simple ingredients: mochi rice cakes, canned red bean paste, and frozen pre-made pie crust.

▼ How convenient! She had a good feeling about this.

To assemble her homemade Tsukimi pie, Maro first laid out a pie sheet, slathered some red bean paste on it, then topped it off with a block of mochi.

▼ The mochi slices are thin, so they’ll soften easily when cooked.

▼ Then she folded over the pie crust and crimped the edges with a fork.

And since the McDonald’s Tsukimi pie was fried, Maro did the same. She fried it in a saucepan until it was golden brown on the outside.

▼ It was starting to look convincingly like the real thing!

Maro excitedly cut into it with a knife… and immediately realized her failure.

▼ It doesn’t look that bad, but it was.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the pie crust was totally off. It was thicker than she thought it would be, and it was also super oily. As time went on, it just got soggier and soggier.

▼ It didn’t even come close to a tenth of the glory of an original Tsukimi pie.

“How did McDonald’s keep their pies so crispy even at room temperature?” she wondered.

Either way, she learned something very valuable from this cooking experiment: just buy the Tsukimi pie when it’s in season. It’s the best 150 yen that you’ll spend.

▼ For comparison, Maro’s Tsukimi pie is pictured on the top, and the McDonald’s version is on the bottom.

▼ Oh, and she also tried over-frying it to see if that would make it any crisper. It was a total fail.

So if you’re in Japan next autumn season and see the Tsukimi pie in stores, grab as many as you can. And if you can make a convincing duplicate of the pie, let us know so we can try it out.

Until then we’ll just have to hope that McDonald’s Valentine’s pies will be good enough to tide Maro over until next autumn!

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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