Cooking With Confidence
mango pudding
Desserts, Vegetarian

Mango Pudding

by Nick

Well, you guys dissed all my suggestions for pudding last week so I came up with something new. They had some really nice, ripe mangos at the store so I thought it might work to puree them down and add them to a traditional vanilla pudding.

The flavor on this was really awesome. It was light and very refreshing actually, but still had the pudding richness that one expects.

One thing: The texture wasn’t spot on. Mango is a very fibrous fruit and it was basically impossible to get rid of all the fibers so the pudding wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked. Betsy and I still had no problem housing large bowls of the stuff though.

Yield
Serves 5-6.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Mango Pudding

Ingredients

  • - 2 1/2 Cups half-and half (I used 50% milk and 50% cream)
  • - 2/3 Cup sugar
  • - 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • - 2 Eggs
  • - 4 Egg yolks
  • - 1 Ripe mango, or 1 1/2 Cups mango puree
  • - 1 Mango for garnish

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Dice the mango into cubes and process it until smooth.  Strain the mango puree to remove any fibers or chunks.

2) Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.

3) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the mango puree and milk and cream (or half and half).  Heat this mixture, whisking continuously, until it's frothy and steaming, but not boiling.  It should be about 180 degrees and will probably take about 8 minutes.

4) Take the milk mixture off the heat and slowly whisk 1/3 of it into the egg mixture.  Once your eggs are tempered, whisk the egg mixture back into the milk mixture.

5) Add your vanilla extract to the pudding base and put it back on low heat for a few minutes to thicken further.  The mixture should easily coat the back of the spoon.

6) Once it's thickened, take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.  Then place a piece of plastic wrap over the pudding and put it in the fridge for a few hours to chill and set completely.  Four hours is about right.

7) Serve with freshly chopped mango.

From a How to Cook Everything recipe.

Managing the mangos

As tends to be the case, the most delicious things are sometimes the most awkward to eat. Mangos are no exception. They’re hard to peel and messy, but this is how I deal with them. I stand them on their end, so they look kind of like a football, and then slice off the cheeks around the big seed in the center.

Then I take each cheek and carve a grid in it with a knife and turn it inside out. Like this!

cutting mango

Love doing this.

You can then easily slice off all the individual cubes without too much of a problem. For this recipe you need to puree the mangos. I did this in my tiny food processor but you could obviously use a full-sized one also.

Blended.

Any last words Mr. Mango?

The problem with mangos is that they are really fibrous. Even after you puree them for a minute or so, there will be some small chunks and fibers left over. So I tried to minimize this in the final pudding by working the puree through a mess strainer using a fork.

strained

Very important.

Finally, after all that work of processing and straining you should have a relatively smooth mango puree that’s ready to be made into pudding.

puree

Nice and smooth.

The Puddin’

There’s a few different ways to make pudding and they all basically differ based on what’s used to thicken the pudding. You can use cornstarch or gelatin but both of those seem a bit like cheating to me. You also run the risk of ending up with jello or something if you over-thicken.

So I use eggs for my pudding. Sure, it might be a few more calories, but the end result is the perfect thickness and richness. I’m not really sure why you would use anything else!

pudding ingredients

Basic pudding stuff.

To start, whisk together your egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt The sugar might not dissolve completely, but whisk it well to get it as combined as possible. Then set it aside for later.

eggs and sugar

Yolks and sugar.

Mix the half-and-half or cream and milk with the mango puree in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk it slowly until frothy and steaming. You don’t want it boiling or you run the risk of scalding your milk.

If you have a thermometer, you’re shooting for somewhere in the 180 degree range. I just eyeballed mine though. Probably took about 8 minutes to get to the right stage.

milk and mango

Don’t boil it!

The Tempering

The next part is literally the only tricky part about making any custard, ice cream, or pudding and that’s tempering the egg yolk into the milk base. You want to combine them but if you do it wrong, you’ll just cook the eggs and end up with mango scrambled eggs.

Tempering just means slowly bringing the yolks up to the temperature of the milk. If you do it this way then the yolks will stay liquid and thicken rather than seizing up and becoming cooked.

To combine the two mixtures, add about 1/3 of your hot milk mixture, slowly, into your egg and sugar mixture. Whisk furiously while you’re doing this! The idea is to slowly and evenly raise the temperature of the eggs.

Once you’ve that done, your yolks should still be liquid but now they should be hot as well. Now slowly pour the EGG mixture back into the milk mixture, again whisking furiously the whole time.

Done! You should have a pretty smooth base now that you can put back on the heat over low heat.

Add your vanilla extract now continue to stir until it thickens substantially, about 5-6 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it can coat the back of a spoon.

My spoon test was my first indicator that my texture was going to be a bit off…

back of the spoon

A bit grainy…

You can see how the tiny mango bits kind of mess up the smoothness of the custard. Oh well. No going back now!

Chill out

Once your custard is thick and coats a spoon without dripping at all, take it off the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. If you want to be really picky about it, you can re-strain the custard mixture now, but I never do that unless I’m planning on serving it to The Prez or something.

Then cover it well with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill completely. The plastic wrap on the pudding will prevent a skin from forming on it.

Ready to chill

Chill out Mr. Mango.

Once you’re ready to serve it, scoop out as much as you want and top with freshly chopped mango!

mango pudding

Topped with fresh mango.

As I mentioned, my pudding didn’t end up being the silky smooth texture I was hoping for. Even though the texture wasn’t perfect, the flavor was really good in this!

If anyone has any ideas on how to make the mango even smoother, leave a comment!

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12 comments on “Mango Pudding

  1. Nick, I love your attempt at pudding! Nice instructions on how to peel and use a mango. They can certainly be tricky. What kind did you use, Palmier or Altualfo?
    I find that a blender is the best way to break up the fibers on a mango. One thing to be careful of is cutting to close to the core of the mango, that is usually where the fibers lay.
    By the look of your spoon test, perhaps your eggs curdled a bit? It is hard to see with the size of the photo.

    Perhaps another reason for the graininess is that you pushed the mango through the strainer with a fork. Unfortunately, that forces the little bits of fiber you are trying to leave behind as well. The answer is to use a strainer with finer holes, like a sauce strainer. It takes a long time, but it is worth the extra effort.

    Or, you can cheat like my pastry chef and buy a mango puree. LOL

    1. Why would a blender be better than a food processor?

      I'm pretty sure that it wasn't curdling that was the problem (I've done that before many times which is why I think that!). There was like tiny flecks of mango fiber in the puree from the beginning.

      Oh well… my attempt was still very tasty. And yes… next time I think I'll just try mango puree.

  2. I was thinking that it might be better to use mango "water"?!? Like if you dumped the pureed mango into a cheesecloth or something and then let it drain out. Then you could throw the pulpy part into a smoothie or something and then use the liquid-y part to flavor the pudding? I dunno…. and for me that seems like too much work – I'd probably be just as happy eating the lumpy pudding!

  3. Definitely worth experimenting with in Honduras where mangoes are far cheaper than up north. And children love pudding. Hondurans like plain vanilla pudding. If I work with this a bit, and use a blender, I may find another hit for the kids here. By the way, your mango shake recipe has been a smashing success down here.

  4. *Agree with Mary, lol. She just beat me to the punch. A bit of water and some slow cooking to break it down, then puree while warm then finally strain. Fibers in fresh fruit tend to remain solid/stringy. I know that this might destroy a desire for a ‘fresh’ flavor, but I am pretty sure those are your only choices here. Fresh and grainy or cooked and smoother.

  5. You would definitely be able to fix the texture problem if you used Kent mangos. They are a delicious variety of the fruit with no fiber! You might have to go to an Indian or Asian grocery store but they are worth the effort. Canned mango pulp would also be easier and just as tasty!

  6. what about using frozen mangoes? I made a mango mousse using the frozen mangoes because (sadly) my market had NO fresh ones at all! I used a blender to puree them and had NO fibers, 100% smooth.

    also- I have had those amazing kent mangoes, only one place I found them which Is down at a huge farm market almost in the keys… and they are only sold at certain times of the year.

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