Aren't those mangoes pretty?
We saw Meeta's call for mango dishes and thought long and hard about what we wanted to create for the Monthly Mingle. We decided to let our Southeast Asian roots show.
Initially, that entailed having green mangoes, but we can't find them here. So, we went the sweet instead of savory route. Here goes! (Recipe at the end.)
I used the crêpe recipe from America's Test Kitchen as my base. Their recipe called for milk and water. I added mango pulp. You can, technically, cut up some very ripe mangoes, purée and strain them to make the pulp. I used canned mango pulp. I saved the fresh mangoes for later.
The mango crêpe batter was made a day ahead. Before I cooked the crêpes, I added water to the batter until it was the correct consistency.
still a little too thick; more water needed
Creamy Avocado Filling
This was probably the easiest part of the recipe!
I'm used to eating avocado in some sweetened form growing up: as shakes, ice pops, or simply drizzled with condensed milk. I decided to run with the latter to make the filling.
Mash an avocado with some condensed milk and it's done.
I started with some butter and brown sugar in a pan. When the butter melted and the sugar dissolved, I added my diced mangoes.
Then, the most important part of the whole thing: lime zest and lime juice.
Some assembly required: a dab of avocado filling in the crêpe, a spoonful of lime-caramelized mangoes, and you have the dish.
I was surprised! I mean, I could imagine that it would be good. But, it was good!
The mango crêpe by itself was very good. Not too sweet. It can definitely be worked into savory dishes. Filled with a little creamy avocado, this was good: the subtly sweet perfume of the mango worked very well with the creamy avocado.
But, add some of the lime-caramelized mangoes and this dish ROCKED!!! That touch of lime was magic. Wait, it needs more exclamations points: ROCKED!!!!!!
I must admit that I am not a big fan of mangoes right now. See, I was spoiled. Growing up in Manila, we had access to the best mangoes in the world.
It needs to be said: Philippine mangoes are the best.
Once you've had Philippine mangoes, there is no going back. Some people might claim that Alphonse mangoes from India are the queen and/or king of fruit, but I don't think so. I've had Alphonse mangoes and they are nowhere near Philippine mangoes.
When we moved here, I moved from mango to mango and I have not found the mangoes of my childhood. I was thrilled when grocery and produce stores started to carry these Ataulfo mangoes, with the same shape as Philippine mangoes, even advertising them as "Manila mangoes."
But, one whiff, one bite, and they are exposed -- for the imposter mangoes that they are.
Just yesterday, our father saw the Ataulfo mangoes we bought for this dish. Like watching a train wreck about to happen, we watched him excitedly cut one open, thinking they were Philippine mangoes. And like after a crash, we were compelled to watch the horrible scene when he realized that they were not. "What are these? Where did they come from?" he said, almost angrily. He glared at the mangoes and walked away.
At this point in my life, I have pretty much foresworn all mangoes that are not Philippine mangoes. I have the occasional mango here or there, but alas, there is no joy there, only perfunctory eating.
We don't even know the type of mangoes we enjoyed during childhood. These scientific names aren't helpful and are very confusing.
Before writing a review of this dish, I tasted it again (we had some leftovers in the fridge). Now that I think I have exorcised all my prejudices, or at least laid them bare, then perhaps I can get a fairer assessment of the dish at hand. I should not be comparing it to a Platonic ideal of mangoes nor should I be blurring the view with my nostalgia.
I will not be as effusively exclamatory as TS; I'll content myself with a single exclamation point. This dish rocked! Quite honestly, I did not expect it to rock with an exclamation point. But the lime in the mango topping won me over: it made the whole dish.
I would probably like even more acidity, or leave the avocadoes whole, with less condensed milk, so the filling will not be too sweet. The mango crêpes were mango-ey enough: the flavour of the mangoes shone through without overpowering the crêpe. As TS said, the mango crêpe can well be used successfully in savoury dishes, and the applications are many. For example, a kind of "tortilla" or a wrap for shrimp "taco." I wish we had saved some crêpes so we can use them in a savoury dish.
There you have it: no big epiphanies for me and I am still missing my Philippine mangoes. This dish eases the pain, somewhat. Of course, only time can heal. Just don't get me started on green mango shakes. ;)
Mango Crêpes with Creamy Avocado Filling and Lime-Caramelized Mangoes
Mango Crêpe (makes about 15 to 20 7-inch crêpes)
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole milk
3/4 cup mango pulp
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
water, to adjust batter consistency
more butter for the pan
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to make crêpes, check the consistency. You may need to add water and whisk until the batter is runny enough.
In a non-stick pan over medium-low heat, melt about a teaspoon of butter. Add about 1/4 cup of batter and swirl it to get an even layer on the pan. When the batter "dries" and there are bubbles on the surface, flip over. Cook for a few seconds on the second side. Remove to a plate.
Repeat until batter is done. You may need the first few crêpes as testers, adjusting the heat and/or the amount of batter to pour at a time.
Set crêpes aside.
Creamy Avocado Filling
2-5 tablespoons condensed milk
Open and pit avocado. Remove all the flesh. Add condensed milk to taste. Mash together until smooth.
2-4 mangoes, depending on size
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 lime, zested and juiced
Dice mango flesh. (We used 3 not-too-big Ataulfo mangoes.)
Heat butter and brown sugar in a pan until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Add diced mango flesh and stir to coat. Add lime zest and juice.
For each crêpe, add about 2 teaspoons of avocado filling. (The crêpes in the photograph are a tad over-filled.) Fold into triangle. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of lime-caramelized mangoes.
Here it is. Our submission to Mango Mania, the current Monthly Mingle by Meeta of What's for Lunch, Honey?
We are also submitting this into Culinarty's Original Recipe round-up.
(Who knew we would actually have original recipes back-to-back!)