Recently, my oldest N , celebrated his 8th b’day . We had two parties …I know, I have overachiever written all over me….but in my defense, we had dinner with our family & friends and the next day he had fun with his classmates !! Everybody wins !!! I wonder how long I can use that excuse. Anyway, while I ended up making chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow filling and football truffles for the kids , I wanted to make something different for the adults. I finally decided that after 10 years, I would make a mango pie. I have had this recipe for that long …..yes!!
I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe. I made mini pies instead of one big one. I can never cut them right and they end all messy !!! Also, I used pistachios, cardamom and saffron to give it an Indian touch. Now I made everything ,except the mango puree,from scratch , you don’t have to. You can certainly buy a pre made crust and layer chopped pistachios before pouring in the filling. As I said earlier, I have been waiting 10 years to make this and I figured “why not go all the way ?“ It was worth the effort !!! Since then I have made it with store bought crust and it tasted just as good …. so do what works for you !!
The pie is light and airy. You take one bite and you are hooked, you will not stop until you have consumed the entire piece. The mango is tangy and slightly sweet. The pistachios add crunch while cardamom gives it an aromatic warmth along with a hint of spice and citrus. I add a pinch of saffron to amp up the intense yellow hue and also to add some bitterness to counteract all the sweetness . Did you know that saffron while being slightly bitter also tastes a little like honey ??? The cream cheese adds to the creaminess while adding more tang. I suppose you can use any crust but I like the texture of the graham cracker one. All that crumbly goodness contrasts beautifully with the creamy mango mousse filling. Pure Perfection this one !!!
I love mangoes. To me, they are the king of all fruits but I do have a problem finding really good ones at the height of their season and lets face it, february is definitely not mango season, so I turned to the handy and almost always reliable canned purees at the Indian stores. A couple of times, I did get really sour ones !!! Taste it before using and adjust the sugar accordingly. Now true to American standards, the Indian stores here do not sell small cans of mango puree. You will always have some leftover……..I just make Milkshakes for the kids with it or Mango Lassi for V and me. It will not last long, even in the refrigerator , so use it fast !
This pie is ridiculously easy, just use a store bought pie crust if you do not want to go thru all the trouble of making one, not that its hard, just pulverize everything in the processor and then press into the pan !!! As for the filling, its a little more involved with three steps . Now if you do not want to whip the heavy cream, just you cool whip from the refrigerator section of the grocery stores !! If you do not want to make a pie, just refrigerate the filling to make a fantastic mango mousse. Serve them topped with diced mango and chopped pistachios . I did that too and it tastes just as awesome !!!
MANGO PISTACHIO PIE
1 cup Mango Puree
1 pkt unflavored Gelatin
¼ cup + 4 tbsp Sugar
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream or Cool Whip
2.5 oz Cream Cheese
1 tsp Cardamom seeds, crushed
pinch of Saffron
12-14 Graham Crackers
¼ cup + 3 tbsp Pistachios , chopped coarsely
7 tbsp Butter, melted
Pre heat oven to 375 F.
Place the graham crackers and pistachios in a processor and crush till coarse.
Then add the butter and sugar and process till it becomes fine crumbs.
Press into the pie pans forming a even crust along the bottom and making sure to press it along the sides as well.
Bake in the oven for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add the gelatin to ½ cup cold water and set aside for 2 minutes.
Then add ¼ cup hot water and stir well making sure there are no lumps.
Whip the heavy cream , if using, to soft peaks. That is when you lift the beater the peaks should gently fold back into itself. If using cool whip, skip this step.
In a processor, process the mango puree, sugar, cream cheese, cardamom and gelatin till well incorporated.
Fold in the whipped cream and saffron gently making sure to keep it as light as possible.
Now pour into the cold crusts and refrigerate till set. It should take about 3-4 hours
If you have any filling leftover just pour into a cup and set.
Serve garnished with chopped pistachios.