Friday, June 19, 2009
Every season ushers in its own particular fruits and vegetables. Summer in India sees a mind-boggling variety of sweet, succulent mangoes taking over our markets. Given that India has varying climatic zones as one moves from one end of the country to another, this means that summer starts sometime in March in south India and ends in June/ July in the north.
Everyone has their own favourite fruit, and mangoes are most definitely ours. So every summer we get touched by a little bit of mango madness which we try to make the most of. Looks like our forefathers (foremothers?) were touched by the same fever considering the numerous ways we have of cooking mangoes, both raw and ripe.
The rainy season/ monsoons are officially here, even though the monsoon itself seems to be vacillating between being here and not!
It is the tail end of the summer in the south even though the northern parts of India will continue to enjoy (maybe I should say suffer, given the prevailing high temperatures) summer for another month and a half.
I was just telling Meeta the other day that her mango mousse was looking so good and it reminded me that the season was almost over here. She told me to make the most of what was left of the season and I took her advice rather whole heartedly.
Apart from eating them fresh, we also found other very good ways to enjoy them. So over the next couple of weeks, I shall be spreading a bit of our mango madness here on this blog.
I had previously bookmarked a few recipes using mangoes, which had caught my fancy. Since canned mango purée is something I have never seen on the supermarket shelves here, so what it meant was that I had to wait till now to try them out.
One of my "must make" recipes was Mark's Mango Galettes.
He and Lisa have this project where they bake from the Tartine cookbook and these galettes were a part of that. You can find the original recipe they used here.
I quartered the recipe because I wanted to make just 3 mini-galettes. I also made a few changes to suit our tastes.
Mango and cardamom is an unbeatable combination, as most Indians know, so I spiced up the mango filling with cardamom and a bit of cinnamon and cloves. These spices tend to enhance the taste of mangoes in desserts.
I also chose to use brown sugar instead of white and left out the egg wash altogether.
The other thing I did different was while incorporating the butter into the flour. I would very strongly advice that you read through the original recipe and the given method for making the pastry before attempting the galettes.
These galettes are quite easy to make and here is my adaptation of that recipe.
For the pastry:
100gm butter, chilled
1/4 cup very cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
1 1/2 cup chopped or sliced mango
brown sugar, as required
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp powdered cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
2 to 3 cloves, finely crushed/ powdered
.....and some brown sugar, for sprinkling
First of all, grate the butter (using the larger side) into a bowl. Chill the grated butter very well.
Then add the flour and salt to the butter. Rub the butter into the flour, using a tablespoon, by pressing down on the butter-flour mixture with spoon and dragging it against the bottom of the bowl in a sweeping motion. You can work by moving the spoon away from you towards the side of the bowl further from you. This tends to flatten out the grated butter pieces while incorporating it into the flour.
I hope this isn't confusing. If it is, use the method given the original recipe. I found my method less messy and it also meant I had much less cleaning to do.
This will result in the butter-flour mixture looking somewhat like crumbs, but with larger and flatter bits of butter in it. Using the spoon also ensures that the mixture remains cold, which is very important to produce a flaky and crisp pie/ tart crust.
Chill this mixture for about 15 minutes. Add the water, a little bit at a time, and knead the dough just enough to bring it together. Do not handle the dough more than necessary.
If making a mini-galettes, divide into three equal portions and shape each into a disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about an hour.
Prepare the filling, in the meanwhile, by cooking the mango pieces, sugar and salt till the sugar dissolves and the fruit is just soft. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the cardamom, cinnamon and clove powders and mix well. Take off the heat.
Take out the dough and lightly roll out each portion into a 1/4" thick circle. Put 1/3rd the filling in the centre of each circle and sprinkle some brown sugar over it.
Gather up the edge of the circle together inwards, covering the filling partially and seal in a pleated fashion leaving the centre of the galette open.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 190C for 45 minutes to an hour till the crust is crisp and a golden brown.
Cool on a rack and serve warm as it is or with ice-cream or a custard sauce.
This recipe serves 3.
I must mention that these galettes were delicious, but this galette crust is the best I have made or eaten so far. And they go over to Srivalli who is celebrating mangoes in a big way with a Mango Mela.