Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mango Cobbler


My homeland Kenya, straddles the Equator. That being said, the weather is very tropical and warm most year round. That means we have fruit trees producing most throughout the year. Of all the various fruits found in Kenya, my favorite has to be the mango. It's sweet, succulent flesh had satisfied my sweet tooth for many years growing up and still does to this day. My poor hubby once had to go to the grocery store at midnight when I was pregnant with our first child to find me a mango because that's what I was craving. He drove to three different stores before he found one. The pregnancy hormones wanted demanded mangoes and by God we were going to eat them no matter what! Lol! From that day on, hubby makes sure to grab mangoes whenever he sees them at the grocery store in case any kind of mango cravings strike again at an ungodly hour.

I feel like the mango does not get as much attention as it deserves here in my adopted home (U.S). The only time I see anyone using mango to make anything is in a mango salsa (to my Kenyan readers, salsa is the Latin equivalent of "Kachumbari"), or maybe a smoothie. So I had an epiphany two weeks ago and wondered to myself how it would turn out if I used the mango to make one of my favorite American desserts-a cobbler. That light bulb was lit in my head and there would be no rest until I made the mango cobbler. I'm so glad I did because it was delicious! The beautiful aroma filled the house and had me camped out beside the oven for the hour it was cooking. Talk about comfort food! Eating this was as comforting as getting a mother's hug..only from inside your stomach. I know it sounds strange, but that's the best way I can describe it. The texture of this dessert was perfect-soft, but not soggy. It was sweet, but not cloyingly so. Here's the recipe..

SERVING SIZE: Feeds 4-6 sufficiently.

-Sharp knife.
-Cutting board.
-medium mixing bowl.
-Oven-safe baking dish (I used a rectangular 9x13 inch baking dish).
-Small saucepan.

-2 large ripe mangoes (look in the produce section of the grocery store).
-1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter.
-1 cup self-raising flour (not all-purpose flour!).
-1 cup milk.
-3/4 cup- 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you like your desserts (i used 3/4 cup).
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional).
-1/4 cup mango nectar (look in the Hispanic section of international aisle at the grocery store).
-1/4 teaspoon salt (to balance the flavors).



-Clean your mangoes, peel them and cut the fleshy part into wedges as shown in the picture below. Set aside.

-In a small saucepan, melt the butter. When done, pour the melted butter into the baking dish. Alternatively, you can place the butter directly in the baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven to melt the butter. Once ,melted, remove the dish from the oven and set aside.
-In the mixing bowl, combine the self-raising flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Whisk together well.

-Slowly add the vanilla extract and milk. Whisk as you add.
-Add the mango nectar and mix well. I used the mango nectar to give the bread part of the cobbler a the mango flavor. There should be no lumps in the batter.
-Slowly pour the batter over the butter in the baking dish as shown in the picture.

-Now in a single layer, arrange the mango wedges, making sure that there are no gaps as shown below (you want to have a mango in every bite).

-Place your baking pan in the center rack of the oven and let it bake for 1 hour. It is ready when the edges start to pull from the baking dish and the crust looks golden brown.

-Let it cool for 8-10 minutes before serving as it will be very hot.

Your cobbler is now ready to enjoy. I served mine with some whipped cream as shown below. 

Eating this brought back such memories of my home country! The song below in Swahili by one of my favorite Tanzanian artists, just completed the experience. I hope this dish transports you to a magical place as it did me. This cobbler was "Safi!" (excellent, neat, on point!).