Some friends who’d moved away came back for a visit and a hot pot luck was held in their honor. Other people brought spicy pulled pork, 2 kinds of wings, chili, stuffed peppers and more. I brought 2 pies. 1 was lemon meringue for people that wanted a non-spicy dessert and the other was the pie I invented: A chocolate, mango, cayenne pie. Emily helped me pick out the type of fruit to use and was brave enough to taste test my attempts at making the filling. I didn’t want to look up how to create the filling, I had some ideas and wanted to try making the filling based on my ideas for how to make a pudding. This had the potential to be completely disastrous, but would be fun either way. This is why I said Emily was brave to try the concoction.
I started by making a small batch of mango-chocolate pudding. Emily tried it and said, much to my surprise, that it was good. Unfortunately, when I tried this batch I discovered I don’t like mangos. This meant I’d be relying on Emily for all the taste testing, fortunately she was up for it. The first batch was a little uneven and the first bite was bitter while later bights overly sweet. However, once she’d finished the initial tasting, she quite liked it. The consistency was a little looser than I wanted, but this would later be fixed thanks to a suggestion from my co-worker Shalu. She suggested I try heavy cream instead of 2% milk and that helped immensely. I tried a larger batch with milk, adding some mango flavored rum. I also tried a batch with that combination and egg. There was a third pre-cayenne batch that substituted the heavy cream for the milk with no egg. That last batch was considered the best, so I made a final test batch with that formula and the cayenne pepper. This is the one I ended up using. My friends Mandy and Josh helped taste most of these combinations and agreed that the heavy cream was the way to go.
When it came time to make a full sized batch, the pudding sized up well with no changes to the recipe. I made a standard 10″ pie crust and lined the bottom with sliced mango. I poured the pudding over the top and Emily sliced up some jalapenos and habaneras for decoration on the top of the pie.
1 10″ pie crust. If you use a 9″ crust you’ll just have some filling left over.
mango slices to cover bottom of crust
2 cups mango puree
8 tbsp lightly salted butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 squares unsweetened chocolatte (8 pieces)
4 tsp flour
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp mango flavored rum
2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
peppers for garnish
Prepare crust. You can make it from scratch or use a ready made crust. I use Jiffy crust, easy to make and it turns out nice and flaky.
Place sliced mango in the bottom of the pie crust after you’ve baked it and the crust cools.
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in medium pot. Pot should hold at least 5 or 6 cups liquid.
Slice the butter into the pot.
Pour the brown sugar into the pot.
Measure out the mango, heavy cream and other ingredients and keep them in easy reach.
Mix the flour and cayenne as it will allow both to blend easily into the mixture.
On meduim-high heat, melt the chocolate, butter and brown sugar into an even mixture, constantly stirring. You’ll be constantly stirring from now until you turn the heat off.
Once these ingredients are melted and well mixed, turn the heat down to medium and add the mango puree. I like to use a rubber squee-gee-like tool to make sure I get as much of the mango and heavy cream out of the measuring cups as I can.
Mix the mango in until you can’t see it any more.
Pour in the heavy cream, also mixing until you can’t see it any more.
Pour in the rum and mix.
Slowly shake in the flour/pepper mixture, stirring so it dissapears before you shake in the next small amount. You want to make sure the flour mixes in well and doesn’t form small lumps. As you’re stirring if you see lumps form, crush them against the walls of the pot.
Continue slowly stirring until the mixture is at a full boil. It should stay at a full boil for around a minute. My mother taught me to stir in a figure 8 when making pudding with the occasional circle. You’re trying to make sure it doesn’t clot or burn and spread out the heat so stir through all parts of the pot.
Once it is at a full boil, remove it from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes, stirring thoroughly twice. This keeps a skin from forming and spreads teh contained heat evenly throughout. You’ll know you’ve stirred enough when the top looks smooth and there’s steam coming up from the pot.
After 5 minutes, pour the filling into the crust over the sliced mango.
When crust is full to the top, allow it to cool to around room temperature.
If you’re going to use a garnish, place it on while the pie is cooling.
Place pie in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
I think this pie goes well with whipped cream. Having some handy for the pie will help people who can’t take the spice, but still like the flavors.
Here’s a picture of the lemon merangue.