I really wanted to come on here and say, "Happy Spring!" with it all sunny and warm out... but that's not the case. Oh, it was 70 degrees here last Friday, but today.. today it's in the 30's and snowing. Not just flurrying either - we could get up to 10 inches of snow. WTF Mother Nature?!
I resist this weather pattern! I'm sick of stews and root vegetables. I want fresh fruit, grilled fish, tropical flavors. I'm ready for summer already, dammit!
So today amongst the falling snow, I whipped up some mango pudding. Whole Foods had the beautiful Ataulfo mangoes on sale that I love, so I picked up a few over the weekend. If you've never had an Ataulfo, or "Champagne," mango before, they are yellow skinned and slightly smaller than the typical mango you'll find in your local grocery store. Their flesh is super sweet with just a tiny tang that balances the sugar. They're also sooo silky smooth and juicy as the flesh is barely fibrous unlike an average mango. In short, they're pure heaven!
This pudding is light and refreshing with a pleasant kick from the addition of a little cayenne pepper. It would be a wonderful spring or summer dessert as you relax outside and soak up the first rays of warm sun after a long winter. I chose some pistachios and crushed gingersnap cookies for a topping, but more chopped fresh mango would have been another great addition if I had more on hand!
Spicy Mango Pudding
2 cups whole milk, divided
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup (rounded) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
scant 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder
2 Tbsp dark rum
1/2 cup mango puree, preferably homemade from fresh Ataulfo mangoes, but canned can be used
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1/8 cup chopped pistachios
1/8 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
1. Combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the corn starch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the remaining milk (1 3/4 cup) to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the corn starch mixture and whisk until smooth. Return the hot corn starch mixture to the milk in the pot, add the sugar, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, rum and vanilla and cook for another minute.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the mango puree until smooth and let cool, covered, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Once cool, fold the whipped cream into the mango mixture until smooth and light. Serve chilled and topped with pistachio, gingersnaps and/or chopped fresh mango.