Monday, 4 January 2016

Our first ever Mango season

Well obviously there have been 'mango season's' before. And in the past we have succesfully begged, borrowed or bartered. This year however is our first, with mangoes of our own!

We planted a 'dwarf' mango tree when we moved in. It was a house warming gift from friends. And after 4 1/2 years we have finally been able to harvest.

The juvenile tree did fruit last year; however the few small fruits it did produce died before they even matured. So this marks a mile stone for us. It is also handy as many of our neighbours have an abundance of mangoes of varying varieties. As they are locally grown people here tend to prefer ‘Bowens’ (or Kensington pride as they are known elsewhere) varieties, although R2E2’s are widely available along with ‘common’ mangoes. These tend to be stringy and are not very popular for eating, although quite good for chutneys. We collect these where possible, along with over ripe or fallen fruit as they make great pig feed. Something most locals are willing for us to do, as the fallen (or rotting fruit) smells sickly and attracts bats.  

Another tree we planted a few months after moving in was our first Mulberry tree (we have two). This has fruited before (and earlier this year). The biggest challenge is collecting the fruit (once ripe) before the birds get them! We missed out on the last batch as the birds ate them first; need to invest in some garden nets. So far I may have enough to make a jar of jam...

What I do have enough to make jam from; well more of a butter/curd anyway are passionfruit. Our vine is now around 4 years old and we have been harvesting the most enormous fruit for over 18 months now.

For passionfruit butter I cheat and use my thermo-cheap... yes I have a cheapie version not the real deal, but recipe is pretty much the same. Would be straight forward to do over stove too, just this is one of the few things I actually use my thermos-cheap for. (I know many people rave about them, personally mine doesn’t get a lot of use).



100g passionfruit pulp
5g vanilla bean paste, less if you dont want a strong vanilla flavour
10g lemon juice
55g sugar
80g unsalted butter
2 eggs

Thermo-cheap method-

1.Place all ingredients into bowl.
2.Insert whisk attachment.
3.Cook on 80 degrees for 9 mins on speed 3
4.It should coat the back of a spoon nicely once done.

If it doesn't, cook for a further 4-5 mins
Alternatively for Mango butter the ingredients are;
80g, Unsalted Butter
20ml, Lemon Juice
125g, Sugar
2 egg yolks
1 Large Mango

I gave a few jars of this away as part of gifts, Christmas hampers. As it is delicious, but as it contains eggs and butter, it is best stored in the fridge and consumed within about a week.

Therefore I am scooping out the pulp from these ripe fruit and freezing them. You could do this in an ice cube tray; I'm using a 'kubie' a baby food storage system, same principle only it divides food into slightly bigger (more useful) portions- roughly 30ml. I use these to store meat fats/dripping, sauces and gravy’s. And then once frozen dispense into a (labelled) freezer bag. Then you can defrost as many or few as you like/need.


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