Woke up the last two mornings to a distinct nip in the air. I don’t think summer’s ready to leave just yet, but it’s a sign of things to come. Better savour the last of the warm weather produce before it’s too late.
Mangoes are one fruit I’ll definitely miss. They just scream “sunshine” from their brightly hued skins right down to their sweet, juicy seed (I always save the seed for myself). We go through a lot of mangoes at our place – usually eaten fresh, but sometimes tossed into salsa, salads and smoothies.
Wanting to try something a little bit different, I decided to make these mango tartlets. I like these sorts of dishes that can be assembled when needed, so all the different components can be kept fresh. No soggy bottomed tarts here. The idea is pretty simple, just your regular shortcrust pastry base, then a crème patisserie filling, topped with fruit.
Of course, I cannot leave well enough alone so there’s a tropical twist. The crème patissiere is made with coconut milk and flavoured with lime rind, and the fruit is topped with some caramelised coconut. When warmed gently just before serving - it’s fabulous! So creamy, warm, buttery, sweet and caramel-y, we went back for seconds. Luckily they were small tarts.
So, please don’t go just yet summer. I need to eat many more mangoes first ☺
For even more of a mango boost and to add some contrast in textures and temperature, serve the tarts with a mango granita.
Here’s how I made my tarts, feel free to use as a jumping off point and vary the fruit and filling etc.
For the base – use your favourite shortcrust pastry recipe (there must be a million variations out there). Blind bake some tart bases. I used mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Cool and store cases in an airtight container.
For the crème patissiere filling
(adapted from a basic crème in Stephanie Alexander’s Cook's Companion)
1 cup milk
1 cup coconut milk
6 egg yolks
finely grated rind of 1 lime
150g castor sugar
Mix milk and coconut milk together in a saucepan with the lime rind. Scald and remove from heat. Beat egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until very thick. Pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture and beat until well mixed. Rinse out the milk saucepan and return the custard base to the pan over medium low heat. Stir until thick and when it starts to boil, stir very, very well (in my handwritten notes, I’ve jotted down, stir like crazy). Strain through sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap on the top and cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
For the coconut topping
(this is a “make it up as I went along” thing, so treat the following measurements as a guide and feel free to deviate)
¼ cup (heaped) shredded coconut
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp white sugar
Mix the butter and sugars together over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the coconut and cook while stirring. If the mixture is too thick add a little bit of water (I added water about 1 tbsp at a time when needed). Keep cooking, adding water to prevent burning, until mixture is brown and caramelised.
(For decoration in the photos, I also made some plain caramel to drizzle over the top of the tart, but this is optional).
To assemble, place a little crème patissiere in a tart shell, top with mango and caramelised coconut. Serve at room temperature or warm gently in a low oven before serving.