I ENJOYED my first new-season mango recently, albeit while sitting in a hotel room in Melbourne.
I am more than happy to eat them as Mother Nature intended but I'm also happy to tinker and use mangoes as an ingredient in a recipe.
They are delicious grilled on a barbecue, made into a mousse or as an ingredient in a seafood salad.
I've also been experimenting with mangoes as the filling for pancakes which can be served for breakfast or as a dessert after a light meal. Today's recipe makes a fine, lacy pancake, more like a crepe.
The two things absolutely essential to a great mango experience are a sharp knife and dental floss.
Mango coconut crepes
Makes eight pancakes; serves four
2-3 medium-sized ripe mangoes
2/3 cup plain flour
2 tblspn cornflour or rice flour
1 cup (250ml) water
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1 medium free-range egg
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 tblspn unsalted butter
icing sugar and fresh mint leaves, to serve
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the cheeks from the mangoes. Scoop flesh from each cheek and cut into fine slices. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 100°C.
Sift flours together into a bowl, making a well in the centre.
Combine water, coconut milk, egg and vanilla essence in a small jug and pour into the well gradually, whisking to form a smooth batter. NB this liquid/flour ratio makes a very thin batter.
Rest batter in refrigerator for 30 minutes (coconut milk may cause batter to grey slightly - this will not affect flavour).
Heat a medium non-stick frypan over medium heat and melt a little butter; wipe out excess with a paper towel.
Pour batter into pan in batches, using approximately a quarter of a cup of batter for each crepe.
Swirl pan around so batter covers the base in a very thin layer. Stir remaining batter with a fork before pouring next crepe to ensure flour remains evenly distributed.
Cook until bubbles pop on the top and the "wet" look disappears (roughly 1-2 minutes) then carefully flip and cook for a further minute on the other side.
As each batch is cooked, stack on a plate. Turn oven off and keep crepes warm in the cooling oven.
When all batter is used, remove crepes from oven and fill each with mango slices.
Fold to enclose and dust with a little icing sugar. Serve with fresh mint leaves.
Variation: If serving for dessert, add a small dollop of pure cream or a scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream.
You can also lightly sprinkle mango with dried coconut strands before folding.
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