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  • Rusty

#11 : Mango Curd Tart

("Give me lemon any day.")

A million years ago, Jeff had a studio apartment on Fire Island and in the summer he spent much of the week out there. I'd hop on the train and head out every Friday evening after work, and after the long train ride to Sayville followed by the taxi ride to the ferry dock and then the ferry ride over to the Island, I was usually tired from the long day and trip - and hungry! Jeff would pick me up at the ferry and we'd walk to the studio (no cars allowed on Fire Island) where Jeff had dinner waiting. Usually it was "fake" tandoori chicken, marinated in yogurt sauce, and I seem to recall we often (if not always) had some mango mousse that Jeff had whipped up for dessert. That mousse recipe is long gone (we've searched online without any luck) but I thought it might be fun to try a tart with mango curd, suggested by the Smitten Kitchen Keepers cookbook.

Is it cheating?

We had a bag of frozen mango in the freezer that is usually fine for other recipes and I thought I'd use that rather than trying to find "the perfectly ripe" mango (see "The Seven Stages of an Avocado" in a previous post), peeling it and cutting it into chunks. I have never managed to get as much mango as I would like off the large pit when using fresh. Using thawed frozen mango felt like cheating a little, but I just went with it.

The latest recipe is pretty straightforward - combine the mango, freshly squeezed lime juice, and some sugar in a food processor, then pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the curd thickens. Add butter to the curd, pour into the pre-baked pie shell and bake for a half an hour. Chill for two hours and the tart is ready!

The recipe couldn't have been easier and as always, I had some leftover pie dough in the fridge - otherwise I would have followed the recipe which called for some grated lime zest in the tart dough. I figured, maybe next time.

As always with a curd, you want to cook it slowly so that it will thicken without letting it boil.

The Verdict: Star Baker or Leaving the Tent?

Not every tart or pie is a winner! This was certainly no embarrassment, but on tasting it Jeff said, "It's fine....but give me a lemon tart any day." Could be the frozen mango didn't give the tart enough oomph, or maybe, just maybe, you can't go home again, and we're not as enraptured with mangoes as we once were. I may try this again with fresh mango, once I find some in season...or I might just shrug and leave the tent, resolving to do better next time.

If you're a huge fan of mangoes, you can find the recipe for mango curd (originally made for a wedding cake) here.

Or, if you're less than impressed with this tart due to our ho-hum reaction, you might try a more elaborate version (which sounds like it's worth a try) here.

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