Don't go, Mango!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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.

Mango tarts

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
50g cornflour

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.


lisamichele said...

shaz..I don't think I've ever seen anyone make a mango look as good as you just did. Those mango tarts look heavenly and it's going to be the mango that suffers from not being able to participate in one of your fantastic creations for a while! :P

Hungry Dog said...

I love mangoes and am always looking for new things to do with them. Your tarts look great. REALLY great. Too bad you live across the world from me, otherwise I would have to show up at your house and eat a few, uninvited.

3 hungry tummies said...

The tart looks fantastic! Also thanks for reminding me that mango season is almost over, I'm going to get some and have them with sticky rice and coconut cream :)

sarah said...

caramelized coconut? sounds amazing!

grace said...

caramelized coconut? say no more, shaz--i'm yours forever. what a treat this must be, and it's absolutely beautiful. excellent farewell to your beloved mango. :)

shaz said...

Aww thanks for the kind words lisamichele

Hungry Dog, if you are ever up this way, you are VERY welcome to come over for a cuppa :)

3 hungry tummies-oooh yes, I forgot about that, I love that dish, will make some this weekend :)

sarah - the coconut was very good, but very super sticky, don't think my dentist would approve :)

grace - thanks dear, great minds eh ?:)

Megan @ FeastingonArt said...

The tarts look so beautiful! I really felt the nip in the air today, I was even a bit cold! You have me feeling nostalgic about all of the produce I am going to miss!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

caramelised coconut? not tried that. And with mango. that I have to try.

Heavenly Housewife said...

How wonderful, i love mangos, especially the pakistani ones. I cant wait till they are back in season here in the UK. Your tarts look amazing.
*kisses* HH

Julia @Mélanger said...

I am with you. Will miss the mangoes. Week by week after Christmas they seem to become more scarce.

I am loving your twist on the classic crème patissiere. Fantastic idea to tropicalise (is that a word?), the dessert up.

Anh said...

Love the last pic! Almost can taste it.

I like the combo of mango and coconut milk. It really brings out the tropical taste. I am not such a big fan of mango (I know, not too Asian is it? :P), so I am eager for apples and persimmons to appear in the coming months.

Barbara said...

You can't beat a mango. Love 'em. I've used them a lot of different ways (a mango and lobster first course was the best so far) but have never made a tart. Great recipe, Shaz! I love the coconut filling in the tart.

Vanille said...

I'm a total mango girl !
Can't you hear your cute tartelettes screaming my name ?!
No, it's true, they are in your tummy by now... ;)

shaz said...

Thanks Megan - well at least there'll be autumn produce to look forward to I guess ;)

Let me know if it works out penny :)

Thank you muchly HH

Ha ha, I do love to tropicalise my dishes up Julia

Not too strange at all Anh, I know a few non-mango type people. You are so right, as much as I whinge about the cold, I do love a good apple and defintiely looking forward to persimmons!

Ooh, mango and lobster sounds like a real treat Barbara.

Ah, so that explains where all the tarts disappeared to Vanille!

Esi said...

I love mango. It's one of my favorite fruits, but I don't indulge much because it's not local. This makes me want to splurge.

shaz said...

I knwo what you mean Esi. We're lucky we get mangoes from Queensland, I do try to eat local but I've settled for Australian grown otherwise I'd only subsist on asian green and tomatoes and a rare strawberry from the garden!