Christmas time in Australia, especially in Queensland, corresponds with the mango season. There are piles of them in markets and stores, on tables and menus, and noticeably growing in trees all over. It can be a bit overwhelming for someone from the Northern Hemisphere. However, one adapts quickly and begins to think of all the ways you can use Mangos on a warm celebratory day. Of the many uses, mango curd is about as easy and versatile as possible.
The technique and ingredients are very straightforward. It works well with my Mango Muffins shown above, as well as cakes, cookies (excuse me, I mean biscuits), a sauce for a fish dish, or the local favorite a Pavlova.
Why so flexible?
The key to the flexibility of this dish is that you are adding both sugar and lemon. In general, as the recipe is written, it is sweet enough for most dessert uses. But what if you are thinking about a pan-fried fish fillet? Perhaps the fish has a bit of tang or pepper in the preparation, if so, then a dab of lemony mango curd can set that off nicely. Depending on taste you might prefer to add a touch more lemon juice or reduce the sugar a bit. Both can be adjusted in the final cooking as you taste and test before removing the curd from the heat.
Notes on Ingredients
This recipe uses whole eggs. Curd can be made with whole eggs or yolks only. I found yolks work best because the mango purée is lighter in taste than the lemon taste in lemon curd.
Your mangos should be ripe, but not over-ripe. The flesh can be easily cubed and removed from the skin. The chunks can be pureéd in a food processor or a blender.
Hint: Click or hover over the photos below for more details
Note that the recipe uses lemon juice and lemon zest. Since you are using zest you may want to use organic lemons if available.
Notes on Technique
The technique for this dish is about as simple as it gets, “Stir all the ingredients… over low heat” Your guide is to watch and determine that all of the sugar has dissolved. Your other consideration is to make sure for health reasons that the minimum temperature, suggested by the egg safety center, is 144° F. It should reach at least this temperature before adding the butter. An infrared thermometer is helpful. I shoot for 145°F before adding the butter and about 160°F in the final few minutes, and that seems to work well for the eggs and the butter.
If you do not have an infrared thermometer, carefully watching the sugar dissolve works well.
Given the acidity of the lemon, the curd will store well for 7-10 days in a refrigerator. To assist in this, use a glass jar and lid using a quick sterilization technique. To accomplish this, heat the jar for 10 minutes in a 250°F oven. Pour the warm curd into the hot jar, seal, and refrigerate. You can also freeze curd if you like. For more on sterilization check here.
A bit of Australian Sunshine
- Approximately 1 cup mango puree. (2 mangos)
- ½ cup sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. juice of 1 medium lemon)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cubed and cold
- Whisk together the mango, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yolks in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir slowly over low-medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. (If using an infrared thermometer make sure the mixture is over at least 145°F.)
- Add the butter 3-4 pieces at a time, stirring until each addition is melted and incorporated.
- Turn the heat to low and continue stirring and cooking the mixture for 2-3 minutes until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour into sterilized jars for longer storage in the fridge.