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From Bill Granger’s Sydney Food

I’ve always been in love with mangoes. But when I spotted this mango on the farmer’s stall I couldn’t help but imagine myself walking through a mango orchard in India.
In my dream, the trees were beautiful. The air smelled like orange and lime tree flowers with just a hint of vanilla.
The mangoes were so red they looked like rubies suspended in a mass of green feathers. I picked one of these plump jewels. My fingers closed around something as smooth as a silk ribbon.
The farmer, who was looking at me with sympathy, gave me his small knife so I could peel off the divine skin of the fruit. He knew I couldn’t resist for another minute.
I carefully skinned the mango, revealing its golden flesh.
I closed my eyes and took it to my mouth. It was firm and juicy and tasted just like I had imagined.
Then I woke up. It was anything but India. But I still had that mango in my hand.

Mangoes are the sort of fruit I can never have enough of. Even though I buy almost a dozen of mangoes per week, they seem to disappear faster than it takes to say ‘good bye’.
Before I even realize how good they are I’ve already devoured at least three of them! Can you believe this?
Finally, only one –out of twelve- was left. I had to keep it in a safe place by making this extraordinary tart.

Mango tart
This tart is an elegant way to use mangoes. The custard – bursting with vanilla flavours – is balanced by adding whipped crème fraiche and nicely enhances the vanilla hint of the mango.
The pastry is quite difficult to work with but patches beautifully, so don’t be scared.

Mango tart

serves 8

1 quantity of sweet shortcrust pastry (see below)
250ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
25g butter
125ml cream, lightly whipped
1 big mango, peeled and sliced

On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry. Lightly press the pastry into a 23cm tart tin and freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Remove pastry shell from the freezer and line with baking paper. Fill with baking weights or rice and bake the shell for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 10 minutes, until dry, golden and crisp. Leave to cool.
Place milk in a saucepan over medium heat and heat until just before boiling point. Add vanilla. Remove from heat.
Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until thick. Add the cornstarch and hot milk and stir until smooth.
Return mixture to a clean saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened.
Bring the custard to the boil, turn the heat down and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring to combine. Strain mixture into a bowl, lay plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate until cold. Fold through cream.
Remove tart shell from the tin and place on a serving platter. Pour in custard and arrange mango slices decoratively on top.

for the sweet shortcrust pastry
260g plain flour
35g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
180g unsalted butter

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub trough with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add 30ml of ice cold water and cut in with a knife until the dough comes together in a ball.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.