Champagne mango tart (with cardamom pastry cream and ginger-shortbread)

Champagne mango tart

The Guardian recently had an article about alphonso mangoes. They sound magically delicious! They also sound like champagne mangoes, and I thought they might be the same thing. When I did a little research I learned that they’re closely related, but not the same. Alphonso mangoes come from India. Champagne mangoes come from Mexico, and they’re also called Adolpho mangoes. I love that! I love that they have people names, and that they’re close relatives. Can’t you just imagine a family reunion of mangoes from all over the world? If mangoes were people they’d be bright and sweet and pleasant, with just enough of a piquant edge to keep them interesting.

Champagne mangoes are ripe and cheap around here at the moment. They’re also irresistible. They have a mild, sweet taste (you can see why they’re also called “honey mangoes.”) They have small pits and pretty, velvety flesh, not at all stringy. I wanted to make a fresh little tart that would show them off nicely without overwhelming them. So I made a ginger-shortbread shell (which would taste good on its own as a cookie, as it happens!) And I made a pastry cream flavored with vanilla and cardamom. Pastry cream is my kind of custard. It has a little bit of flour in it, which means that you don’t have to worry too much about letting it curdle. And if it does curdle, you can process it till it’s smooth again. And – you know when it’s thick. There’s no doubtful “Is that coating the back of the spoon? What does that even look like? Should I be using a metal spoon or a wooden spoon? Will it get thicker, or will it just get RUINED?!?!” (I’m a nervous custard maker.) When pastry cream is thick, it’s thick.

Everybody liked the tart, even the littlest food critic, Isaac. And, you know, it’s just fruit and milk! Right?

Here’s Mango Meat by Mandrill. I love this one!!
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