Mango Madness

It’s Foodie Tuesday!

We used to have a mango tree in our backyard when I was growing up. In my high school, we had three mango trees, each one more than a hundred years old. And just yesterday, I passed by a gas station that had a mango tree standing next to it–incongruous, but proof that in the Philippines, mangoes truly are as ubiquitous as air.

Mangoes are found everywhere here, and everybody loves them! Their bright and cheerful yellow-orange is just so wonderful to look at, and their skin so lovely to touch. And the eating is just as heavenly–sweet and fragrant, and so smooth, silky, and juicy in the mouth.

They’re sold everywhere–from big supermarkets to small street side stalls–and eaten every which way–cut up and spooned oh-so-properly from the skin, or peeled by hand and devoured directly from the fibrous stone. (The latter method is immensely messy and quite undignified, but the payoff is sweet sensational bliss.) They can be dried to fabulous chewiness, or made made into jams, or put in salads, in ice creams, smoothies, cocktails, and in an entire galaxy of stellar desserts.

They are not only enjoyed when they’re golden and ripe and sweet, but also when green and tart–usually paired with something salty, like shrimp paste, soy sauce, or even just plain salt. And yes, there is also such a thing as a green mango shake.

Did I mention that the mango has been anointed National Fruit?

Here’s a rich and sinful dessert from my mom’s treasure trove of recipes. She usually baked this in an 8×12 pan so the layers are spread up a bit more and cut it up into brownie sized pieces. But I thought I’d see how it goes if I made this in a 10-inch round pan.

Mango Meringue Torte

Crust Layer:
1/2 c. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1 c. all purpose flour

Curd Layer:
1 can condensed milk (300 ml), mixed with
1/4 c. lemon juice

Mango Layer:
3 mangoes, around 1 kg, cut in 3 to 5 mm slices

Meringue Layer:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. sugar

Slice mangoes and place them in a rack or strainer to allow the juices to drip.

Cream the butter and add sugar gradually. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add flour. Spread on the bottom of  a 10-inch greased and floured round pan. Bake for 20 minutes in a 320ºF preheated oven.

Meanwhile, mix together the lemon juice and the condensed milk, and see how the condensed milk magically sets!

Make the meringue by beating together the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed, until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, and beat a few more minutes.

When the crust is done, take it out of the oven and spread the curd over it. then layer the mango slices on top of that. Finally, glop the meringue on and spread it out. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the meringue browns a little, around 10 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and release the sides. Enjoy!

I love the buttery richness of the crust, which works gloriously as a backdrop to the sweet fruit and the rich tartness of the citrus-y curd. The meringue is the light, fluffy, mallow-y cloud that lightens and lifts up the tasty mouthful.

All images by Nathalie Mariano

5 Responses to Mango Madness

  1. Mot says:

    This mango bright,
    so lovely & light ,
    is poetry to read,
    & what a wonderful sight.

  2. SirMuseAlot says:

    Lush mango light,
    so lovely & bright,
    such poetry to read,
    & wonder to sight.
    Softly sweet & luscious taste,
    so much to savor & none to waste!

  3. Thanks for sharing your poetry!

  4. Pingback: Chilly Thrill: Frozen Mango Yogurt | The Design Tree by Greentea Design

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