Mango, going, gone

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 September, 2007, 12:00am

The long season for mangoes is winding down; you'll find them intermittently in the markets throughout the winter but not in the great variety we enjoy during the rest of the year. This tropical fruit is fragrant and sweet when ripe - pick specimens that 'give' slightly when gently pressed.

Sago and fresh fruit with mango puree (pictured)

Yes, I know you can get this refreshing dessert at fruit-juice shops but it's easy to make yourself. Sweeten the puree with the sugar syrup to taste. The remaining syrup can be stored in the fridge and used to sweeten iced coffee and fresh fruit drinks.

150 grams sugar

150ml water

400ml fresh, unsweetened mango puree, chilled

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

40 grams small sago pearls

2-3 pomelo segments, membrane removed

4-8 strawberries (depending on size)

Other fruit such as watermelon or cantaloupe (cut into chunks or shaped into balls with a melon baller or small ice cream scoop), kiwi (peeled and sliced), mango or papaya (cut into chunks) and seedless grapes

To make the sugar syrup boil the water, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge.

Pour the sago into a pan and add enough water to cover by about 4cm. Soak for 15 minutes then place the pan over a low flame and bring to a simmer. Cook for about five minutes then cover the pan with the lid, turn off the heat and let the sago soak until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain, rinse with cool water then drain again. If the sago clumps together when it's time to use it, rinse it again then drain.

Whisk the mango puree with sugar syrup and lemon juice to taste. Spoon the sago into individual bowls and add some of the mango puree. Break the pomelo into small chunks. Add the pomelo, strawberries and other fruits to the bowls and serve.

Mango and lime granita

Unlike sorbet and ice cream, granita doesn't require an ice cream machine to make it. The liquid is occasionally stirred and scraped with a fork as it freezes, creating grainy, uneven ice crystals that melt quickly on the tongue. Placing the mixture in a metal container helps it freeze faster. It also helps if all the ingredients are very cold before they're mixed together.

For a light dessert, spoon the granita into martini glasses and add a few fresh raspberries. It also makes a delicious palate cleanser; pour a shot of champagne over small spoonfuls of the granita and serve immediately, before it melts.

400ml fresh, unsweetened mango puree, chilled

About 50 grams granulated sugar

A pinch of salt

250ml cold sparkling mineral water (use one with a neutral taste)

About 45ml fresh lime juice

Finely grated zest of one lime

Place in the freezer a metal container measuring about 20cm square and about 5cm deep. Combine the mango puree, sugar, salt, water, lime juice and zest. Taste the liquid and add more sugar or lime juice, as desired. Pour the liquid into the metal container and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The mixture will freeze first around the edges and on the bottom of the container; use a fork to scrape the frozen parts into the centre. Return it to the freezer and continue to scrape at 20- to 30-minute intervals. If the ice crystals get too big, crush them with a fork. The granita should be icy and grainy but light. The texture and flavour are best when it's served the day it's made.

Mango and raspberry crepes

The crepes can be cooked in advance. Leftover crepes can be stored in the freezer. Stack them with a sheet of aluminium foil between each one, cover with plastic wrap and place in zip-lock bags.

For the crepes:

3 large eggs

1/4 tsp salt

About 300ml chilled whole milk

120 grams plain flour

30 grams unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Oil for the pan

For the filling:

30 grams unsalted butter

3-4 medium-sized, ripe mangoes

1/2 punnet of fresh raspberries

25 grams sugar, or to taste

20ml fresh lemon juice

200ml cream, chilled

Mix the eggs, salt, milk and flour in a blender or food processor. Add the butter and mix briefly (or use a whisk to combine all the ingredients in a bowl). Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. Just before cooking the crepes, check the consistency of the batter - it should be as fluid as pouring cream. If it's too thick, stir in more milk.

Heat the crepe pan, add a little oil and use paper towels to rub it evenly over the pan. Add a small ladleful of batter, swirl the pan so the batter evenly coats the bottom then pour out the excess. Let the crepe brown then flip it to cook the other side. Continue to cook the crepes, lightly oiling the pan as needed.

Cut the peeled mango into large cubes. Heat the butter in a skillet and add the mango, sugar and lemon juice. Saute briefly over a high flame until the mangoes are hot. Taste the fruit and adjust the sugar and lemon juice if needed. Stir in the raspberries and cook for about 30 seconds then remove from the heat. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spoon some of the mango and raspberry filling into a crepe, add a dollop of whipped cream then fold the crepe in half.

styling Vivian Herijanto