I received an unexpected shipment of boxes this week that was labeled personal affects. It turned out to be boxes of memories from a long time ago. Stuff I had in a storage area I had completely forgotten about until a family member did a little fall clean up and decided it was time to empty the unit. Clearly I didn't need any of the stuff since so much time had passed but it was a nice trip down memory lane as I went through it all. Some of the pictures and music CDs (do people even have CDs anymore?!) were from when I lived in Hawaii. In my backyard I had several fruit trees that grew like crazy just as you would expect in the tropical climate. Several varieties of bananas, avocados and a massive mango tree at the top of the yard. A recipe that reminds me of that time seemed like the right thing to do, a little cooking catharsis. I do so much with banana and avocado that I thought I would make something yummy with the more exotic mango. So I headed to the local co-op and came home with two beautiful mango specimens and a hankering for dessert. Alas, this beautiful mango tart was born. All I ask is you don't tell anyone how deceptively simple this recipe really is and blow my cover as a chef. This tart can be made into a raw version by using whipped coconut cream as the filling instead of the vanilla custard and of course you can use any crust recipe you like. There are too many yummy substitutions to list. I have to give credit for the inspiration and step-by-step plating pictures to a fellow blogger at bakerita. The blog is fantastic so stop by and check them out if you want a tutorial.
Now it's time for you to run to the store and pick up a few mangos so you can impress your friends and family. If mangos aren't available you can use any fruit you can slice thinly. Sliced pear tossed in cardamom and sugar nestled in whipped coconut cream would be lovely. Let me know if you make this and how it turns out. Tag a photo at #theverdantplate on Instagram. Enjoy!
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Process the ingredients until crumbly. Press into a 9-inch tart pan (this is the one I use). Chill.
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon agar powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Blend coconut milk, maple syrup and agar until smooth. Pour in a saucepan and heat over high, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Pour into crust.
- Peel mangos then cut each half off the core. Slice thinly.
- Place the biggest slices against the outer edge of the tart and alternate slices in a circle until you reach the middle.
- Refrigerate at least an hour before serving so everything has a chance to firm up.
- Taste your mango. The ripeness can be hit or miss. If your mango is tart then toss the slices in a tablespoon of maple syrup or agave before you fill in the tart.
- Here is tutorial on slicing a mango.