My introduction to mangoes was, I'm ashamed to say, via an imported chutney, which I bought then consumed with huge enjoyment.
That was a long time ago and I can honestly say that I never noticed fresh mangoes in the supermarket until the past few years.
Have they always been there, I ask myself?
Probably not. Like many tropical and subtropical fruits, their entry into the New Zealand market has been gradual, the demand driven by newcomers accustomed to having such delights to hand in local markets.
In proportion to their size, mangoes have an unusually large (inedible) stone. The flesh must be sliced off it, and there are various ways of doing this, but no matter which technique you choose, a small sharp knife is essential.
Ripe mangoes are mostly eaten raw yet the flesh lends itself to cooking and loses little flavour in the process.
Today's recipe is easy to make and the yield is good.
I used tinned mangoes and peaches in my recipe but fresh or frozen fruit are equally suitable.
While I prefer fresh, the window of opportunity for buying fresh peaches here in the south is quite narrow.
Over time I have discovered that some tinned fruit, tomatoes included, can make perfectly satisfactory preserves. There is no waste and, aside from adjusting the salt content at the end of cooking, it's fairly straightforward.
PEACH AND MANGO PRESERVE (makes about 3 cups)
1 mango or 400g tin sliced, drained mangoes
2 cups fresh peaches or 400g tin sliced, drained peaches
1 medium onion
1 Tbsp canola or safflower oil
tsp ground cardamom
1 cup cider vinegar
cup brown sugar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
pinch dried crushed chillies
Method: Chop mango flesh, dice peach flesh and finely chop onion.
Heat oil in a shallow pan and cook gently until translucent.
Add cardamom and cinnamon, stir and set aside.
Put the fruit in a medium saucepan.
Add the vinegar, sugar, ginger, chillies, salt and onion mixture.
Bring to a slow boil then cook gently for about 40 minutes, stirring often, until mixture is thick and glossy.
Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
If using preserve soon, allow to cool, place in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until needed (it will keep for several weeks).
If bottling, remove from the heat, spoon into sterilised jars and seal.
Store in a cool dark place.
- The Southland Times