Reading my posts this summer, one would think I eat a lot of desserts. I actually don’t. But this has been a brutally hot and humid summer in the Valley of the Sun, and I find myself thinking of the chilled, fruit-flavored desserts of my youth. Probably as a mental defense against the weather conditions. This mango and coconut pudding is a variation of one of those chilled desserts.
The original, called manjar de coco (versus this one, which is called manjar de manga) is a milky white, coconut-flavored pudding topped with a rich prune syrup. And while we use prunes widely in Brazilian confections and desserts, I hesitate to throw one out to you guys because…let’s face it. Many of my fellow Americans seem to suffer from prune phobia. I blame the ad executives who decided in the 1970s that prunes were the perfect solution to constipation.
And to quote Forrest Gump; “that’s all I have to say about that.”
So, I give you the mango version. And who doesn’t love mangoes? It is such a deliciously sweet and meaty fruit with a beautifully unique flavor. And since it has two harvest seasons a year in tropical climates, we get to enjoy it pretty much year-round here in the US.
This mango and coconut pudding is a cool, tasty, and very original way to fight the summer heat while indulging your sweet tooth. And it is beautifully finished with a lovely mango syrup with fruit.
Making the mango coconut pudding
Start with the pudding, because although both the pudding and the syrup need time to cool, the pudding will need longer.
Select mangoes that are tender and ripe without being mushy. There should be noticeable give to the flesh when you select the fruit, but it should not be too soft.
Mushy mangoes have a bit of a “turned” flavor, as if the fruit has started to ferment. They also contain more liquid, which will make it difficult for the pudding to reach the desired consistency during cooking. Under-ripe mangoes will leave you with a bland, anemic pudding.
Go for tender but still somewhat firm flesh, with a deep orange color.
Start by prepping a mold pan. Lightly coat with butter, then cover the butter with sugar.
Usually, this pudding is made with a fluted Savarin mold. Since I did don’t have one, I used this silicone cake mold.
Blend the pudding ingredients all at once until completely integrated. It will have the consistency of a fruit smoothie.
I have a good-sized Vitamix blender. If your blender is not large enough to blend the ingredients all at once, split the ingredients and process in two batches.
Transfer to a large sauce pan and cook, over medium heat.
Stir frequently until the mixture comes to temperature and starts to bubble. Then stir constantly…
Until it thickens to a consistency of a porridge.
Turn off the heat, remove the pan from the burner.
Pour the hot pudding mixture into the mold pan. If using a silicone mold, be sure to place a flat surface under the mold pan to stabilize the movement of the contents.
Then allow to cool to room temperature before chilling for at least 2 hours.
In the meantime, make the syrup.
Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until it simmers. Then reduce the temperature to medium-low, tent the pan with a lid (leaving some room to vent), and allow to cook down until the water has thickened to a light syrup and the mixture has reduced somewhat. It should resemble the syrup from canned peaches.
Allow to cool. Then pour into a resealable container and store in the refrigerator until chilled and ready to serve.
Place a serving flatter upside down over the top of the mold pan. With one hand on the center of the serving platter and the other hand under the stabilizing plate under the mold pan, flip both dishes so that the mold pan is now upside down on the serving platter.
Lift away the mold, and the ring should be centered in the serving platter.
Spoon the desired amount of syrup with fruit over the pudding, allowing the syrup to pool in and around the ring. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.
Then serve away!
The mango coconut pudding is wonderfully chilled, smooth and creamy, with a big hit of mango, and a mild backdrop of coconut. It’s also a surprisingly light dessert. Although sweet, it is not overly filling and won’t weigh you down. It just hits the spot!
Mango Coconut Pudding (Manjar de Manga)
- 4 1- pound fresh mangoes ripe but not mushy, cubed (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 1/3 cups sugar plus more for coating the pan
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 8 tablespoons full cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon butter softened, plus more for coating the pan
- Mango Syrup recipe included
- In a large blender, blend all the ingredients until the mixture is totally integrated and has the consistency of a fruit smoothie.
- If your blender is not large enough, split the ingredients into two equal halves and process in two batches.
- Coat a cake mold with a light coat of butter and then sugar. Set aside.
- Transfer the mixture from the blender to a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble, stirring frequently.
- Then stir constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a porridge.
- Pour the cooked pudding into the prepared cake mold. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate at least two hours.
- To serve, place a servicing platter over the top of the cake mold and flip the two so that the pudding ring is centered on the serving platter.
- Cover with mango syrup with fruit (recipe below), and serve.
- 1 fresh mango ripe but not mushy, 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- Pour the ingredients into a sauce pan.
- Cook over medium heat until bubbly.
- Tent the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook until the water has thickened into a syrup with the consistency of the syrup from canned peaches.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer to a resealable container, including the cooked fruit, and refrigerate until ready to use.