Recipe: Sweet Lemon Bars With Biwa (Japanese Apricot)

Welcome to Savvy Tokyo‘s “New Approach to Cuisine” series: our awesome challenge of incorporating traditional Japanese food into our baking and cooking repertoire, all presented to you by yours truly, Amya, aka the Pie Queen.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are plentiful in Japan and so here I am doing what I do best — tweaking recipes to come up with food I truly miss. Today, I’m introducing one very special fruit I’ve only seen in Japan: biwa (びわ). I’d like to refer to biwa as Japanese apricots though the taste is slightly different than the typical apricot you’re probably used to from back home — wherever home is, really! Consider biwa a softer, sweeter, less tart apricot. The formal name of this fruit is loquat, but… since that doesn’t give us much extra information, here they are:

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A post shared by Pie Queen (@piequeenjp) on Jun 8, 2019 at 2:06am PDT

Biwa is one of the most easily accessible and delicious Japanese summer fruits that can be turned into any fabulous desserts you can think of. I paired it with lemons and couldn’t be happier. The lemon custard is tart, pucker-inducing deliciousness and the biwa adds soft, tangy-sweet goodness. A sure crowd-pleasing addition to your brunch, lunch, tea or dinner.

Here’s how to make yours!


For the crust

This is a shortbread crust. It’s a softer version of shortbread—melt in your mouth, break apart but in the best way—super easy to make.

  • ½ c sugar
  • ¾ c butter (softened; unsalted or salted)
  • 1 ¾ c all purpose flour

Mix together by hand. It will result in a very soft, sticky mess. Pat into a square or rectangular dish (I usually place oven paper down just to …continue reading