The day we learned that Red Ribbon Bake Shop had phased out its Mango Cream Pie was a sad day. The Mango Cream Pie was one of the two reasons we patronize Red Ribbon, the other reason being its chicken empanada. It was especially disappointing for my younger daughter, Alex, who loves Red Ribbon’s Mango Cream Pie to bits. I told her I’d learn how to make something like it. Not one exactly like it because I never really liked the topping with the thin layer of gelatin but something with a nice crust, a gooey filling, a cream topping and lots of fresh mangoes. In theory, I knew how I’d do it. The question was whether the theory could be successfully translated into reality. Last Sunday, we found out the answer and the answer was delicious.
This is a pretty long recipe. The dessert requires quite a lot of work but you can take breaks in between. The pie needs to be chilled twice before it can be fully assembled so you can watch a movie or two in between. If you feel it’s too much work for an everyday kind of dessert, you still might want to consider making a batch or two over the holidays.
This entry contains over 30 photos. I’ve spread the photos and cooking instructions over four pages to make the pages load faster.
In a mixing bowl, cut a chilled 225-gram block of butter into small pieces. Over the butter, sift two cups of flour and half a cup of powdered sugar.
Mix everything together until they resemble coarse crumbs. I did by hand but you can use two knives or a pastry cutter.
Press the mixture into a square glass baking pan and bake the crust in a preheated 350oF oven for 30 minutes.
That’s the top of the baked crust.
And that’s how it looks from the sides.
The custard filling
In a pan, place 2 cups of milk with 1/3 cup of flour.
Mix them together and cook the mixture over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil (it’ll thicken at this point), lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer the mixture for seven minutes.
While the flour and milk simmer, place two egg yolks and and one egg white in a bowl (reserve the remaining egg white for the cream topping) with half a cup of sugar.
Beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and creamy.
Poured half of the thickened flour-milk mixture into the egg-sugar mixture.
Mix them until blended.
Pour the egg-milk mixture into the pan with the remaining half of the thickened milk-flour mixture.
Mix to blend. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for another seven minutes.
Pour the custard over the baked crust.
Smoothen with the back of a spoon.
Cool to room temperature. Cover with cling film and chill the in fridge for a few hours.
The cream topping
Beat the remaining egg white until stiff peaks form (see stages in beating egg whites).
In another bowl, beat a cup of chilled cream until double in volume.
Fold the egg whites with the cream. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer set to low. Do not overmix so as not to destroy the air bubbles in both the egg white and the cream.
Pour the cream over the cooled custard. Use a spatula to spread the cream to the sides and corners. Cover with cling film and chill for a few hours.
Garnish with fresh ripe mangoes
Cut two to three fresh ripe mangoes and discard the stones. Use a baller to scoop out the fruit flesh to create half spheres, rounded on one side and flat on the other.
Using a teaspoon, arrange the mango half-spheres on the chilled pie.
Keep the mangoes as close together as possible.
My older daughter, Sam, was taking the photos at this point and she made me promise that I’d post the one above that shows how one piece of mango slipped off the teaspoon and landed on the cream in an awkward angle. Well, in the spirit of keeping things real, there’s the photo.
That’s how the assembled mango cream pie looks like.
And that’s Alex attacking it.
The verdict? Everything tasted great but… Yes, there’s a but. Two, actually. The crust was too thick and the cream topping was too thin. Next time, I’ll use only half as much ingredients for the crust and twice as much for the cream topping. In fact, I might as well double the amount of custard too.