Roasted Mango Custard PieTuesday, April 19, 2016
I'm so happy to finally be able to share this pie with y'all! I've been sitting on it for what feels like an eternity, but between my Whole 30 round and traveling I didn't have the opportunity to test pie recipes. Luckily, it was pretty close to perfect on the first attempt and the second try was just a matter of tweaking a couple things. Mango. Pie. I'm salivating just thinking about it all over again. This pie has always been an idea and my first attempt dates back several years ago. Most of the mango pies I've made were more like peach pies, with chopped pieces of ripe mango. It works, but fruit pies are finicky and the texture of mango can be fibrous at times. What I really had in mind was a solid, creamy mango filling that would hold up to being sliced and didn't need gelatin. I had my "aha" moment after spending the holiday season mastering custard pies for my Thanksgiving ebook. Sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie and buttermilk pie are all custards, so there are some techniques I learned that helped me develop this recipe. It occurred to me that I could probably puree the mango and use a similar baking method to get the texture I was after. It worked on the first attempt!
The first mango pie was dreamy. Sweet, firm but creamy, and a mango-forward flavor. I roasted the mangos first which dried them out some and intensified the flavor (especially important considering I was using mangos in the dead of winter.) The only hesitation I had was my inclusion of some sweet potato puree, which added starch for structure. The sweet potato flavor didn't come through at all, which was good, but in the final recipe I wanted to make it a true mango pie. I ended up using a little bit of cake flour the second time around, which worked in my buttermilk pie to reinforce the custard. Success! Pure mango flavor in a sliceable baked custard, with even more of a jiggly, slightly gelatinous texture. (It still looks similar to a sweet potato pie, but it'll be fun to surprise your guests with something new.) This pie is awesome. I used my buttermilk pie crust, blind baked to ensure a crisp pastry shell. A standard pastry crust would work, but I think any kind of crushed cracker or gingersnap crust would also do the trick if you're looking for a faster option. The mango filling is subtly spiced with notes of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a little bit of heat from fresh ginger. The sweetness of the mangos is enhanced with honey and coconut milk. Top the pie with freshly whipped cream, coconut whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or coconut ice cream. It's perfect for the summer and complimented my West Indian dinner menus well.
But I'm going to stop talking about it now so you can go and make one. You definitely want to make this mango pie!
3 to 4 peeled and sliced mangos, to yield 2 1/2 cups puree
6 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cake flour
3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
Total Time: 3 hours, plus cooling time (minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight)
Yield: Serves 8
Special Equipment: Blender, large saucepan, deep dish 9" pie pan, pastry brush, parchment paper, heavy baking sheet, bag of dried beans or pie weights
Get your pie dough rolled out in the pie pan early so it has time to fully freeze. Usually I do my pie crust the day before I plan to bake a pie. Prick the sides and bottom of the dough with a fork before freezing. (This isn't a deal breaker if your shell was already frozen but it helps to prevent the crust from puffing up too much when you bake it empty.)