Monday 25 March 2013

Mango Ginger Crumble 

I've always said that you can take a girl out of the tropics, but you can't take the tropics out of the girl. Yes, and that would describe me to a tee. As I always bemoan on this site, I miss the tropics. I am not saying that I don't love living in Edmonton, but to be honest, when its the end of March and we have over a foot of snow... well, it gets old very fast. This is the time when I am so heartily sick of winter and the cabin fever sets in. I get really tired of having to put on a million (erm... maybe a slight exaggeration, but close, nevertheless) layers of clothes, and hats and mittens and giant snowboots... its so wrong. Especially when then cat's bounding along with spring fever and shedding everywhere, and on occasion, you can hear a lonely bird or two tweedling their lonesome song... 

Yes, these are the days the sunshine girl in me longs to shed all those layers and the only hat I want to wear is a sunhat. Preferably a pink one. With pink flipflops to match... its not that much of an ask, is it?

Fresh Mangoes

Which is probably the reason why I got almost giddy with excitement when I saw these mangoes in the Asian supermarket. Now, they are not the almost headily perfumed Alphonsos that I am used to, but Ataulfos from Mexico... and even though my self declared 'food snob' pal Addie would turn his nose up at them, for me, the fact that these guys were actually perfectly ripe and even better smelled like mangoes, was a no-brainer buy buy buy moment. 

So I merrily grabbed a whole case ($12.99, if you're wondering, and they are in great shape too) and turned out the whole lot into my beautiful fruit bowl... and spent an evening just looking at their lovely, yellow, goldenness... then chased away kid and husband, and spent an evening just dreaming about what I would make with them. 

Oh, and I also found proper, ripe papayas. My tropical cup of life is brimming over right now, isn't it? And I had the funniest experience in store as well. I reached out and grabbed a papaya, and the little elderly Asian lady beside me smacked my hand away and almost growled... 'mine'. Haha, I know how you feel, lady... a primal possessiveness comes over us when we see tropical fruit that has eluded us over the long cold winter. I still got a couple of perfectly ripe papayas, by the way, and for a change, they actually tasted like they had been tree ripened. 

I miss the days when I could head out into my garden and pick a perfect papaya off the tree, after which mum would peel and slice it up for breakfast. Small pleasures that we took for granted then, but ones that I know I will never be blase about again. Like watching the torrential monsoons, cosily tucked up in a warm blanket with hot pakoras, or even that perfect hot cup of tea that my dear, patient mum would bring to us in bed, as we sleepily muttered and grumbled our way out of dreamland. 

Mango Ginger Crumble

So what did I do with those jealously guarded mangoes? Well, I was a miser and portioned out a few to the kid and Kay, freshly peeled and cubed. Then I used some to make this simple, yet delicious mango and ginger crumble. Strangely enough, the first time I had mango crumble was at a friend's in England. He was Italian, and a true food connoisseur and she was the typical English rose. So when we went to their home for dinner, we almost always had a fabulous Italian meal, with an English dessert. She made this mango crumble for me, because she thought I would appreciate the tropical element :) All I wanted at that time was a rhubarb one, but it was the thought that counted, right?

Ever since then I make this crumble whenever I find fresh mangoes, and sometimes even with frozen mangoes. The recipe is very simple, but the taste is something else... the subtle spiciness of ginger floats through the light tanginess of mango and lemon. You may find it unusual to see fruit juice in this recipe, but that's because mangoes don't release as much juice as apples or other fruits, so you need it to balance out the juiciness of the crumble. You can easily play around with the fruit in this recipe, I have, on many occasions added peaches to the mangoes, and for me, this is a taste of summer...

Now if only I can get the weather to co-operate!!! Dagnabit, Edmonton, get your act together :)

(Printable Recipe)  

Crumble Topping:  

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
250g cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (optional)
3 - 4 tablespoons cold water 


900g fresh or frozen mango chunks (I skinned and chopped around 7 fresh mangoes)
1/4 inch very finely chopped, or grated ginger
1/4 cup white grape, pear or apple juice
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
2 teaspoons granulated sugar  


Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.

To make the crumble topping, place the flour, oats, sugar, salt and ground ginger in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers, until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the candied ginger, if using. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can just clump the mixture with your palms. 

Make the filling – place the mango chunks in a large bowl, and add the ginger, white grape/ pear/ apple juice and lemon juice. Mix together gently.

Place the fruit filling in an ovenproof dish, and sprinkle over the sugar.

Clump the crumble topping over the fruit, until it completely covers the filling. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the topping is crisp and the juices in the fruit filling are bubbling. 

I like to serve the crumble with homemade vanilla ice cream, crème anglaise, or lightly sweetened whipped cream.  

Mango Ginger Crumble


  1. I love your writing style - it's humorous and makes me smile! :) As for the mango crumble, I absolutely love crumbles and mangoes and can't believe I never thought of making one before. Come summer and I am sure to try this.

  2. Oh yum, I love the sound of a mango crumble! Your crumble looks so delicious :)

  3. Am surprised how you saved those luscious mangoes and made this desserts...mango crumble sounds so yum and totally Indian!

  4. This looks lovely, can't wait to give it a try, maybe mixed with papaya...

    I am totally with you, I have had enough of Snowmaggedmonton, bring on spring! Good news, I heard the geese today :)

  5. Woww.. looks absolutely delicious and tempting.. Love it :)

  6. Mmmm, great idea..and guess who just bought a box of mangoes? Moi!


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