BASIC WHITE NERI AN
(BASIC SWEETENED WHITE BEAN PASTE)

INGREDIENTS:
  • Raw white bean paste 1000g
  • Sugar 500g
  • Water 500cc

  1. Put the water and sugar in a pan. Add about 1/3 of the thawed raw white an and heat over medium high heat.
  2. When this mixture has come to a boil and the sugar has melted, add the remaining raw white an. Then heat over a medium high heat.
  3. (As the hot an thickens, it will spit and splatter, so it is best to use a long handled spoon.) To prevent scorching, stir continually until the consistency becomes dry to the touch. It should not stick to the fingers and should resemble that of stiff, rather dry mashed potatoes.
  4. Remove from heat, place in dollops on a clean dry cotton cloth to cool. Cover with a second cloth. Turn the an occasionally so that a crust does not form on the surface while it’s cooling. Wrap in plastic wrap, cool completely, and then store in a plastic tub in the refrigerator. Will keep for 4 days or so.
  5. Once the an has thickened, the temperature of the bean paste should be around 98oC.
  6. Remember that as the an cools it will become firmer in texture.
  7. If all of this an is not used immediately, the remainder can be frozen and rethawed at a later date. Once rethawed, however, reheat with a pinch of water to freshen. (This an will not be as tasty as freshly made an, but it can be used.)
  8. Do not include pan scrapings or dry bits from the pan. These bits will create hard lumps in the finished product.
  9. An often made mistake is not to have the an dry enough. Once cooled, if a 20g ball is rolled in your hands, it should hold its shape well and should not leave a heavy film on the palms of your hands. Conversely, it should not be so dry that it crumbles to the touch.
  10. If the an is too moist, when the finished wagashi is placed on a piece of kaishi, a piece of folded paper that is used as a plate during tea ceromonies (or if it is placed on a small serving plate), 2 problems will occur. First, the excess moisture from the an will wick out around the edges of the wagashi and will soak through the paper layers. Secondly, it will sag, lose its shape and will have to be scraped off the paper or plate to be eaten. Neither one of these is desirable. A wagashi made from an should be moist enough to hold its shape when it is being cut into, and it should be dry enough so that it leaves only a bare minimum residue on the surface of the item on which it has been served.

Recipe provided by the Toraya Confectionery Ltd.

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