All of my family and culinary heritage comes from Mauritius, the “Green Island”, located off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. A tropical paradise, from which hails aromatic spices, fresh seafood and locally-grown bourbon vanilla, as well as an abundance of exotic fruits such as jackfruit, lychees, papaya, pineapples and vibrant sweet mangoes.
A lot of people don’t know about Mauritius’ historically rich culinary roots. It’s such a myriad of fusions; Indian, Chinese, Creole and French influences, and you can see this through recipes and menus offered on the Island. We can find crepe suzette, flambéed fruit desserts and bakeries offering patisserie-style sweet flaky pastries and cakes amidst more Indian-style gulab jamun and halwa.
The Tart Tatin a quintessential French dessert, traditionally layered with crisp sticky caramelised apples which never fails to disappoint but has explored the more adventurous of toppings such as quinces, apricots, pears and I wanted to delve into a tropical twist with the mango.
Occasionally I succumb to digging into a slice of this Tarte Tatin on a Sunday afternoon, straight out of the oven, with flaky puff pastry slipping through my fingers while relishing the caramelised sweet mango with hints of vanilla. It’s unforgivable to forget that drizzle of cool coconut milk crème that finishes it off nicely.
Are you tempted yet? Jamie Oliver does a great base for a traditional Tart tatin recipe or his more experimental Banana version, and the recipe below is one I have adapted with a tropical twist from his recipe.
Mango Tarte Tatin
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 500 g puff pastry
- 2 large mangoes, ripe, core discarded, cut into wedges
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 ml rum (optional)
- 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out
- 50 g butter, cubed
- 1 can coconut milk (400 ml approx)
- 2 tbsp Icing Sugar
Preheat your oven to 190˚C/375˚F/gas 5.
Firstly make your coconut cream. For the whipped variety leave your can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours. Take out and scrape out the cream (not the water) into a bowl. Using a whisk, whip with icing sugar till fluffy and set aside in the fridge (or just use your coconut milk straight out the can to pour over your tart at the end).
Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it’s just over 0.5cm thick. This will be enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you’ll be cooking the Tarte Tatin in.
Put the pastry to one side for now. Peel your mangoes, run your knife alongside the core, then slice into wedges of mango. Discard the core and skin.
Put the ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, rum (if using), vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel. Never touch it if you want to save your fingers!
Once the caramel looks golden-brown, take out the vanilla pod (not with your hands) and set to the side. Add in the mango wedges, placing them in a concentric circle or fanned-out fashion. Use a spoon if this is easier than using your fingers.
Once all added, place the cubed butter over the mangoes then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges – it’s best to use a wooden spoon so you don’t touch the caramel.
Bake the Tarte Tatin for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, with crispy caramel pieces bubbling up from under the edges. Take it out of the oven.
To make it look like a Tart Tatin you need to turn it upside down, get a serving plate around the same size, (wearing oven gloves) put the plate on top of the pan, then quickly turn it over. (An example of how to do this safely is on Jamie’s Food Tube here).
Put it to one side for a few minutes so the caramel can cool down, add the vanilla pod for decoration, then slice it up, pour over your coconut milk or whipped coconut cream and indulge!