Mango madness


Steve Buissinne, freerangestock.com

A platter of fresh fruit is always a great addition to any table, especially when sliced mango is included.

 

Just before writing this, I went grocery shopping and purchased a large bag of dried mangos from the Philippines. It was kind of pricey, but you could see inside the bag and the mangos looked well worth the price.


I was correct in my visual assessment, as the first bite immediately led to a second, third and so on, passing the taste test with flying colors. This got me to thinking about mangos as a subject for this column.


I just love fruit, especially the tropical kinds. I also love fresh cherries, but I understand we don’t have a very abundant crop this year. My brother-in-law over in Gilroy grows cherries, and some of his trees only produced three or four pieces of fruit. Never heard of a crop that sparse. The grocery store had some fresh cherries for sale, but there was no price available, so I decided not to get any.


I was expecting the worst, as I was still in sticker shock after looking at the price of a small flat-iron steak marked at $40. I am glad I am not much of a meat eater, not that produce is cheap.


Well, here are the mango recipes I promised. Hope you find something you like.


Cat’s peach-mango upside-down cake


For peach and mango topping:


4 or 5 small peaches (if thin-skinned and smooth, do not peel), sliced


1 medium Manila-type mango, peeled and sliced into about 2-inch pieces


1/2 cup sugar


2 tablespoons cornstarch


For butter sauce:


1/4 cup butter


1/2 cup brown sugar


For the cake batter:


1 cup butter, softened


1 cup sugar


Zest of 1 lemon


1 teaspoon vanilla


4 eggs


1/3 cup sour cream


2 teaspoons lemon juice


2 cups flour


1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder


1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the peaches, mango, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment. (A round one works, too.)


2. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan, until they are blended. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan.


3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest in with the sugar, and then add it to the butter. Beat until it is light and fluffy. Next, add the vanilla, then eggs, one at a time. Finally add the sour cream and lemon juice.


4. In another bowl, mix the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Then slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, mix the flour into the wet batter.


5. Stir the peach and mango mixture, draining off any more than 2 or 3 tablespoons of juice. Arrange the fruit mixture into the cake pan over the brown sugar and butter. Spread it out into an even layer. Spoon the cake batter over the top of the fruit mixture, spreading evenly.


6. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes.


7. Run a knife around the outside edges of the cake to loosen, and then place a large serving plate on top of the cake. Holding the plate and the cake pan firm and steady, flip the whole thing upside-down so that the plate is on the bottom. Carefully remove the cake pan and parchment, slice, and serve.


Mango sorbet


Make sure the base of the ice cream maker is frozen overnight before making this recipe.


1 pound (some bags weigh 15 ounces, which still works) frozen diced mango (see notes for fresh mango)


3/4 cup water


6 tablespoons sugar


2 tablespoons lime juice


1 pinch kosher salt


1. Place half the frozen mango chunks in a food processor or high-powered blender with the water, sugar, and lime juice. Puree until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as necessary. Then add the remaining mango chunks and puree until smooth, adding a splash more water if necessary. This forms a no churn sorbet that you can eat immediately, or move to step 2 if you have an ice cream maker. (To make ahead, you can refrigerate at this point until you want to churn, up to 2 days.)


2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze for about 15 minutes, until the texture becomes frosty and creamy. Serve immediately. Or, line a container with parchment paper and freeze up to 2 hours day of serving. Store in a parchment lined sealed container for up to 1 week; allow to come to room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes before scooping. Makes 1 pint.


Note: You can also use fresh mangoes. Use 3 cups diced fresh mangoes and substitute 1/2 cup ice for the 3/4 cup water: blend all ingredients and freeze in an ice cream maker.


Mango squares


For crust:


1 cup flour


1/4 cup sugar


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1/4 teaspoon salt


1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


For filling:


1/2 cup sugar


1 tablespoon cornstarch


3 eggs


1 cup mango puree (see note)


1/4 cup lemon juice


1. For crust: With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350. Butter and line a square 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.


2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients until the dough has a grainy texture. Lightly press into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool.


3. For filling: Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the mango puree and lemon juice. Pour onto the crust.


4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set. Let cool on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate for 2 hours. Lift out of pan and cut into squares.


Note: For 1 cup of mango puree, process 2 cups of cubed mango in a blender until smooth, then strain. Makes 16 small servings.


Mango colada


1/2 cup unsweetened mango juice or nectar


1/2 cup ripe mango cubes, fresh or frozen


1/2 cup crushed ice (or 1/4 cup if using frozen mango)


1/4 cup cream of coconut, coconut milk or coconut water


1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1/2 lime)


1/4 cup white rum, optional


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and thick. Serve in tall glasses. Makes 2 servings.


Sparkling mango lemonade


3/4 cup granulated sugar


3/4 cup water


2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped (or 2 cups frozen mango, thawed)


1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice


3 cups lemon-flavored sparkling water


1. In small saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, add mangoes and lemon juice to blender and puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher; discard solids.


3. Add sugar syrup to pitcher and stir until well combined. Fill 6 glasses with ice and divide mixture between glasses. Top each glass with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Makes 6 servings.