The arrival of mango season is always a highlight of the year for south Asian communities, and in between stuffing myself with the raw fruit, I think about the puddings I can turn it into. This one comes close to perfection: a twist on the classic lemon meringue pie made with fruity, aromatic kesar (or alphonso) mango and topped with a cloud of toffee meringue made with golden syrup. It takes a little while to reduce the mango pulp and intensify the flavour, but you can use that time to crack on with the pastry.
Mango meringue pie
I’ve used tinned pulp because it’s easier to find than fresh Indian mangoes – look for it in specialist Asian food stores or on the world food section of any big supermarket. You will need a sugar thermometer.
Prep 40 min
Cook 1 hr 25 min
For the filling
1 x 850g tin kesar or alphonso mango pulp
1 lime, a small slice (about ⅛th) cut off and set aside for the meringue, the rest juiced
4 large egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
70g caster sugar
130g unsalted butter
For the pastry
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
110g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
40g icing sugar
1 large egg, beaten
For the meringue
120g caster sugar
100g golden syrup
4 large egg whites
1 small pinch salt
Put the mango pulp and lime juice in a large saucepan, weigh the pan and make a note of it. Put the pan over a medium heat, bring the pulp to a simmer, then turn down the heat and reduce, stirring occasionally to ensure the base doesn’t burn, for about 40 minutes, until the pan is 300g lighter.
Meanwhile, put the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor still running, pour in the beaten egg and process until the mix just comes together into a dough. Turn out on to a worktop, knead briefly until smooth, then wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Grease the sides and base of a 23cm metal tart tin with butter. Dust a worktop and rolling pin with flour, then roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving a 2cm overhang, prick the base with a fork, then chill for another 20 minutes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes at 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Remove the beans and paper, and bake for 20 minutes more, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Set aside to cool, then trim the excess pastry.
To make the filling, stir the yolks, cornflour and sugar through the mango pulp over a medium-low heat for five minutes, until steam starts to rise. Continue stirring over the lowest heat for another minute, then turn off the heat and stir in the cold butter until melted. Cool to room temperature, then pour into the pastry case and chill in the fridge.
For the meringue, melt the sugar, syrup and water in a small saucepan, then boil until it reads 110C on a sugar thermometer. Put the egg whites and salt in a bowl, squeeze in the reserved slice of lime and whisk to soft peaks. Once the syrup reaches 118C, gradually whisk it into the egg whites, until stiff and glossy. Using a piping bag or palette knife, arrange the meringue over the top of the tart, then caramelise the edges under a hot grill or with a blowtorch before serving.