Monday, May 27, 2013

Cooking the Hilo Woman's Club Cook Book: Mango Brown Betty

After the papaia pie success of recent days, it was inevitable that I would return to the Hilo Woman's Club Cook Book for another recipe.

I decided on the simple dessert made by generations of home economics students but with a Hawaiian twist: the Mango Brown Betty. Thanks to Miss Shizue Okamoto for the recipe!

Three of these mangoes were delivered via Peapod, while the fourth and their friend the lemon was procured from Los Amigos, the little grocery store near my house. These particular mangoes originated in Central America.

After some unphotographable wrangling with pits and skins, the slightly traumatized flesh was assembled into the bowl below.

And then it was time for ingredients from the cupboard. To make this, you'll need bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, and butter. The picture of the meatloaf on the front of the bread crumbs tube is merely a serving suggestion, of course. It is a good reminder, however, that when making desserts you should only use the plain, and not the Italian-seasoned, type of bread crumbs.

Layering is a good look for any season. Start with 2/3 cup of bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of melted butter and spread it in the bottom.

Take half of the mago and spread in a layer.

Cover with 1/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest and juice.

Which yields this golden brown look of damp, sugary sweetness.

Pour over another layer and bread crumbs and repeat with another layer of everything else.

Cover with a third layer of bread crumbs and head off to the over for an hour at 350 degrees.

While the Mango Brown Betty is cooking, you may experience olfactory memories of cozy afternoons with your mother and/or grandmother, as the smell of buttery spiced fruit wafts through the house. 

When finished, the sugar and bread crumbs should have fused into a sweet crumbly matrix, giving some texture to the tender bits of mango sandwiched between. I paired mine with vanilla latte ice cream.

Serve with black coffee.

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