Mary loves cooking from scratch using natural ingredients. Here she shares some of her favorite recipes and products.
What to Do With Mangoes
For some people, the idea of having too many mangoes doesn't seem like a problem. In many supermarkets around the world, mangoes are often expensive. And for many people, they are only rarely consumed because of the cost.
Here on my farm in Brazil, I have three mature mango trees. For four months of the year, I have a continual supply of mangoes. For just the two of us, that is a lot of fruit, and so I am always looking for ways to use them. We give away a lot to neighbors and friends, but locally there are many trees, so everyone is trying to find someone who can use them. The small shops won't buy them because they know their customers will get them for free.
Here on my farm, I like an easy life, so I do not make complicated recipes. Really, who has time for all that? What you'll notice is many of these recipes are just variations on a similar theme, and when you realize that, cooking isn't that complicated.
During our mango season, we drink juice most evenings with our dinner. To make it, I use a juicer. I will cut about five chilled mangoes by removing the cheeks and then the meaty part near the stone. I insert this into my juicer, and the machine pushes the pulp to one side, and the juice goes into the jug. Mango juice is thick, so I add about a third of the amount again with cold water. Then we have a pleasant juice that isn't too heavy with a meal.
Making Mango Jam
You may never have seen mango jam in the store before, but there is no reason why you can't make it yourself. I like to add to the flavor as mango on its own can be a bit bland. I like to add ginger, lemon, and cinnamon; any of these will give a jam an added interest. I don't use pectin. I use sugar and continue cooking until it begins to thicken. I keep this in the refrigerator.
When I make chutney, I end up with a big jar (about a quart) and then extra in a bowl. My husband doesn't like chutney, and that's okay with me because I love it! It is one of my favorite ways to use mangoes. With plump raisins and a tangy sauce, I use this for lunch and dinner with cheese and meat.
I remember one time we had some friends over and had a chicken curry. I put a bowl of chutney out, and this Brazilian friend, who had never had mango chutney (although she grew up in a mango-growing region), tried it and loved it. In fact, I had to go inside and refill the bowl of chutney. She ate so much!
Mango Muffins, Cakes, and Cookies
Using mangoes in cakes, muffins and cookies can be in various forms. Baked inside as part of the mix, as a layer, or mixed in with the icing. Its bright yellow coloring lifts even the plainest of cakes.
Use the jam to make jam tarts, or as the filling in cookies.
Making Mango Pie
I can't even begin to count the number of mango pies I have made in the time we have been here. It is a combination of mango, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. I have found it is easy to adapt peach recipes as they are a similar texture and juiciness.
Mango Cobbler and Crumble
The cobbler and crumble desserts I tend to make less often than a pie. That said, it makes a change from the ever-present mango pie. To make the mango crumble, I add the pie ingredients and top it with a streusel mixture and bake. It would lend itself to having another fruit included to add a bit of interest. For the streusel topping, I use:
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (cashews, walnuts, or hazelnuts)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose (plain flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
Mix and sprinkle across the top instead of a pastry.
Similar to a crumble, I'll also make a mango cobbler. I will use the same ingredients but add the cobbler dough to the top. That is just like adding a biscuit dough to the top of a hot mixture of mango and spices.
- 3 tablespoons shortening or hard margarine
- 1 cup flour all-purpose (plain)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
Fresh Mango Salad
I love having fresh mango in a salad. I can't think of anything it doesn't go with. I have had it in a green salad and also with pasta and rice salads. Because it doesn't have a strong flavor, it blends well with other flavors.
I always think mango salsa looks wonderful on a table. It's bright yellow, mixed with red onions and green coriander, and just looks fresh and healthy. It can be eaten with a salad of meats, or pasta or whatever you want, even with fish or Mexican food. This can be served in a medium-sized bowl or in individual ramekin dishes. The vinegar dressing is a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the mango.
For this, I use unflavored gelatin and combine it with mango puree. For the puree, I use ripe mangoes and put this in my blender. Because my variety of mangoes is fibrous, I pass this through a sieve. I then can add the already softened gelatin to this. Sometimes I will use a little UHT cream. Refrigerate as you would gelatin.
Mango and Custard
Outside of mango season, I tend to make bananas and custard as a weekly dessert. But when the mangoes are ripe, they replace the bananas. I think custard can go with everything, and pieces of mango are no exception.
For this, I make a traditional custard which gets its richness from egg yolks, and a small amount of butter and vanilla. Once cool, I will mix in cubed pieces of mango and serve. So simple, so tasty.
Mango Ice Pops
Just like Popsicle or ice lollies (in the UK), you can make frozen mango pops. Pour any leftover mango juice into a Tupperware ice pop form, and freeze. Super simple, super healthy, and you use up more mangoes.
Frozen Mango Cream
A popular frozen dessert here in Brazil uses sweetened condensed milk and UHT creme. It works on a one-to-one ratio: one box or can of sweetened condensed milk to one of cream.
A love of Nestle condensed milk and other products started in WWII when available food was scarce. Nestle became popular in the country and many of the recipes are still loved today.
I have also made mango ice cream, although, for me, it didn't turn out well. Cream, with a fat ratio of 30%, is needed and I can't buy that here. Plus, it should have been stirred more frequently to break up the ice crystals that you can see in the photo.
Although this article highlights different ways to utilize mangoes, use it as a guideline for whatever fruit you have a surplus of. Most can be made into similar recipes, whether you have plums, apples, cherries or peaches. It's a matter of adjusting the sweetness levels for your fruit.
What is your favorite dish to make if you have a surplus of fruit?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Have you made stewed mangoes from nearly ripe fruit? We cut up the fruit and add a little water and boil. Add sugar to taste after the fruit has cooked and the juice has thickened. Yummy for breakfast or with ice cream.
Answer: I have made them, however, our mangoes are rather fibrous. However, we have just had some very windy weather and many green mangoes have fallen. I will follow your advice and try it. I think the fibers will be less problematic.
Question: What does a mango taste like?
Answer: Sweet and mild. They can be very juicy. They taste... tropical!
I had one today which I ate the 'native ' way. This is done by finding a ripe mango with no holes. You gently massage it to break down any fibers. Then you simply bite a hole in the top and suck the juice out. After all the juice is out, some people will then open it up and eat any flesh that is attached to the skin. That gets a bit messy. I normally toss the peel and the large stone to our chickens who finish it off.
© 2018 Mary Wickison