Mango Custard with Grapes

The summer brings forth the mango season and though I missed a good part of the season due to the lock down, I still managed to make a few dishes using this golden fruit. There’s nothing quite like the perfume of mangoes wafting through the kitchen. It’s just lovely!

I had this idea to make mango custard. It turned out to be a great success. Everybody loved it. I have used grapes, but you can use any fruit of your choice. It’s a light and refreshing end to a summer meal.

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You can serve this silky, smooth custard warm or chilled. Either way, it’s a refreshing and unusual dessert. Sponge fingers would be ideal to serve with this custard.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tsp cornflour

4 tbsp sugar

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of saffron

1 large mango, cubed

A few grapes, deseeded

Instructions

Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour to a paste in a pan. Add the milk and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and let the custard cool. Add the vanilla extract.

Blend a cup of the custard with the mangoes until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the blended mixture back to the custard and mix well.

Place the grapes in the bottom of four individual glasses and spoon the custard over them. Serve warm or chilled with sponge fingers.

Mango Upside-Down Cake

In India, summer heralds the mango season. It’s just exhilarating – so many varieties of mangoes! The heady perfume of the mangoes fills the kitchens, market places and the whole environment. I dive headlong into the juicy and luscious taste of the mangoes and experiment with various recipes.

Mangoes go so well with sweet treats – cakes, desserts, sweets such as halva and preserves like juices, chutneys and sherbets go down very well with my family and friends.

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Mangoes should feel tender but not squashy and should have a well balanced flavour and flesh which is succulently tender.

This cake is just divine. The mangoes come through beautifully and it’s just perfect served with a dollop of cream and fresh mangoes. It’s very moist and not too sweet.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30-45 minutes Serves:6

Ingredients

  • 1 large mango, sliced
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar

Instructions

Heat the oven to 180 C.

Prepare a pan by using a little butter to grease the bottom and sides. Sift some flour over it and tip off the excess so that the entire pan has a nice coating of flour. Alternatively, you can use a non-stick pan.

Melt the jam with ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan and pour into the base of the pan. Overlap the mango slices over the jam in the base of the pan. (I used a bundt pan).

Cream the remaining butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and fold in the flour with the milk to a soft consistency. Add the vanilla essence and spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Level the surface with a knife. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake is well risen and golden brown. Use a knife to test the cake.

Cool the cake for about 10 minutes and turn out on to a plate.

Beat the cream with the sugar until it becomes thick or stands in soft peaks. Chill.

Serve the cake with a dollop of the sweetened cream.

Poached Mangoes with Strawberry Coulis

My friend Beryl was an amazing and passionate cook who was very generous with her time and her recipes. She was warm and friendly, and really loved to feed people. She was one of my earliest food influencers.

She passed away some years ago, but I was blessed to continue to cook the recipes she gave me; my love for food I passed on to my own daughter. When Beryl taught me this recipe, she used a thinned down version of her own blueberry jam as a topping, but I decided to try it with a strawberry coulis instead. The combination of the luscious mangoes cooked in spicy sugar syrup and the strawberries are amazing. It’s a dessert that can be put together very easily, even if you’re tired and pressed for time; serve it and watch the compliments flow in.

Fresh mangoes are the best for this recipe. You can use any type of mango. The mango needs to be a little ripe, but not completely so.

 

Cut the mango lengthwise with a sharp knife. You have to remember not to overcook the mangoes, or they will turn mushy and break apart. They should be al dente.

What a lovely burst of colour on the plate — yellow and strawberry pink. You can also serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe:

1 mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 clove

For the coulis:

1 cup strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

Heat the sugar, water, and spices in a pan over medium heat, while stirring constantly. When the sugar has melted completely, add the mangoes and cook gently for around 5 minutes.

Test the mango pieces with a knife; they should be al dente. Remove from heat and cool. Retain the sugar syrup to use in other recipes or to poach other fruits; it will keep well in the fridge.

To make the coulis, blitz the strawberries and the sugar in a food processor. I like my coulis a little chunky; you can blitz to a smooth puree if you prefer. Stir in the lemon juice.

Serve on a bed of strawberry coulis, with some coulis drizzled on top, as shown.