Mangoes hold a special place in my house. The only tricky thing is the weekly gamble where you think you have a good looking mango and hold your breath as you cut into it to discover whether or not you actually have a well disguised dud. Much to my delight, I chanced upon some incredible mangoes recently and thought I had to do something with them right away. I’ve done some mango desserts before, and I didn’t want to do more of the everyday kind of mango dishes, so I thought back to something I’d only had once before: mango pie.
I loved the taste when I’d first had it, but there was one thing I didn’t care for (and if you look into mango pie, you’ll find so many of them do the same): they’re gelatinous. Not just a little bit, but to the point where its distracting–as if the pie crust is simply a jello mold and not actually housing a fruit pie. I considered doing a more rustic, chunky fruit pie, but since some mangoes can be a bit stringy, I didn’t want to cede control of the pie texture to chance. So instead, I aimed for something a bit more custardy in texture (by using eggs), kind of like a pumpkin pie, and crossed my fingers.
Lucky for me, it worked out better than I expected. The pie had a fantastic flavor–the mango took center-stage and was beautifully accentuated by the honey, which adds a certain depth and a great tangy after taste with just a touch of cardamom. Good quality, ripe mangoes are obviously key, so sneak a bite before you commit to putting any particular mango into the pie. The pie develops an attractive, deeply amber caramelized crusty rim with a vibrantly colored center and a creamy texture that holds its shape just until it enters your mouth where it simply melts. And as much praise as I have to lavish on this pie, its actually quite light and summery and nicely complemented by a graham cracker crust.
- Graham cracker crust
- 4 mangoes
- 14 oz (1 can) condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
First, prepare a graham cracker crust and bake it blind at 325°F for 15 minutes.
Then, peel, pit, and puree the mangoes along with all of the remaining ingredients. Was that the easiest pie filling ever, or what?
Pour this into your pie crust (I had a little extra filling, so I poured that into ramekins for little mango puddings) and bake it in a 350°F oven for an hour. The filling will poof up a bit like a souffle and the edges will get caramelly and bubbly, so I’d recommend you put a pan/baking sheet underneath your pie in the oven or you just might be cleaning the floor of your oven after you’re done. Not that I’d know anything about that. The pie should have a little bit of jiggle in the middle when you tap it in the oven.
Give the pie some time to cool down and then chill it for a few hours in the fridge before you dig in.