Saturday, June 23, 2012
3 Recipe #311: Mango Pie Flavored with Cardamom & Saffron
Made this pie and served it to last night's dinner guests. Served it warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream on top. After we all dug in, there was only a half of a pie left. :)
This recipe pairs mango with cardamom, saffron, and lemon zest. The pie shell is a nut crust that's slightly salty and flavored with a hint of cardamom. Please note that this is supposed to be a more of a tart pie than a sweet one. This is why the combination of tart and sweet flavors from the pie and the ice cream, respectively, just go together really well! (However, if you prefer a sweeter pie, I've included an adaptation below to suit these preferences.)
Instead of resorting to the usual baker's tricks of making pies with butter and refined sugar, this recipe relies upon the healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils in walnuts to help bind the crust and honey to naturally sweeten the pie. If you only have a single slice after dinner, it's actually fairly low fat. Almost all of the fat content comes from the nuts (and also to a lesser extent, the oats) in the crust versus the pie filling. Yes, this pie's actually healthy for you, and is not only packed with flavor, but lots of nutritional value as well. This way, you can enjoy a delicious treat and still feel good about yourself the next day. :)
Mango Pie Flavored with Cardamom & Saffron
1 1/4 c. oats
1 c. chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 Tbsp. ice water
3/4 c. cold water
1/4 c. cornstarch
4 c. yellow mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced into bite-sized pieces (about 3 medium-sized yellow mangoes)
1/4 c. honey (if you prefer a sweeter pie, use 3/8 - 1/2 c. honey instead)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. saffron, soaked in 2 Tbsp. plain soy milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Directions: Make the crust: Place oats in a food processor and process until they turn into a fine powder. Next, add nuts, honey, vanilla, lemon juice, salt, and cardamom, and process until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Pour in ice water and process just until mixture achieves a dough-like consistency. Do not overmix, or crust will become too hard when baked. Remove mixture from food processor, scraping out remaining bits with a spatula. Using your hands, form into a dough ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place into the freezer for a half hour.
Make the filling: While you’re waiting for the dough to freeze, make the filling: add cold water and cornstarch to a small bowl to make a slurry; stir together until smooth and also to break up any clumps. Set aside. Add mangoes, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, pure vanilla extract, cardamom, saffron mixture, and salt to a large sauce pot and cook on medium heat. Stir together with a heatproof spatula, continuously folding over mixture until honey has dissolved and the cornstarch slurry has adequately thickened the filling mixture. The white color of the cornstarch slurry should completely disappear by the time the filling is finished cooking. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Assemble the pie: Remove dough from freezer. If dough ball is too dry, add a small amount of water to it before rolling it out. For easy clean-up, spread wax paper onto a clean, flat work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough onto the wax paper into a large circle formation until it’s about a 1/4 “ thick. Place an 8” pie plate face down onto the rolled-out dough, positioning it so that it’s lined up properly with the dough. Lift up the wax paper and gingerly flip it over so that the pie crust is now on top of the pie plate. Be sure to hold onto both the pie plate and the wax paper while flipping them over. (If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can also lift up the wax paper and flip it the dough over into the pie plate.) Mold pie crust to pie plate, pressing dough down to cover the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Perforate the sides and bottom of the crust with a fork, so it won’t rise up from the pie plate as it bakes. Place crust into the freezer again and chill for 10 minutes. Then, pre-bake the crust in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Keep checking on crust as it cooks, so as not to burn the crust. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then pour in pie filling and bake in the oven at 350°F for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for another 10 minutes. Slice pie and serve hot or warm, with a scoop of French vanilla soy ice cream on top.
Yield: 1 8”-diameter pie. (About 6-8 servings.)
Chef's Notes: This pie tastes best when it's served hot or warm, with a scoop of (French) vanilla ice cream on top. :) If you are vegan, simply substitute the vanilla ice cream with vanilla soy or coconut milk ice cream.