Mango pudding is one of the most popular Hong Kong–style desserts, but its appeal has also been its downfall, as many dim sum palaces and banquet halls have turned to instant pudding mixes to meet the demand. I take this dessert back to its roots and make it with fresh mangoes and cream. Although sauteing the mangoes first is not a traditional technique, it makes this version even better than the original.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
6 mangoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7½ ounces/212 grams) sugar
5 gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water until softened and drained, or 2½ teaspoons powdered gelatin, softened in 3 tablespoons cold water
4 cups (32 ounces/908 grams) heavy whipping cream
Sweetened Condensed Milk Chantilly , optional, or ½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) evaporated milk
Sweetened condensed milk chantilly:
1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Put the mangoes, lemon juice, and salt in a large saucepan, set over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mangoes are very soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sugar and continue cooking, stirring and scraping the bottom of the saucepan, until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy, with a few chunks of mango remaining, about 15 minutes. Do not let the sugar caramelize and brown. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.
3. Stir the gelatin into the mango mixture until it dissolves, then stir in the cream until well incorporated.
4. Divide the mixture among eight 4-ounce ramekins or serving bowls. Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, until set, about 3 hours. Serve cold, with chantilly on top, if desired.
For the Chantilly: Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sweetened condensed milk and salt and whisk until medium-soft peaks form. (When you lift the whisk from the cream, a peak should form and the very tip should fall back down.) Makes 2 cups
CHEF’S TIPS: Start with very ripe mangoes, preferably Alphonso or Champagne. If you cannot find them, you can use the Ratna brand of canned mangoes available at Indian markets.
This is a great dessert for parties because the recipe can be doubled and you can make the whole thing ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to serve. It’s best served the same day, but it can be refrigerated, covered, overnight if necessary.