They said in the NY Times last week that is mango season. I think the season began last month. Our local store had mangoes on sale for 69 cents each. So I bought 12 or more and set them out to ripen. Once they were good and ripe I was ready to can. I made sure they were very ripe because two years ago I made mango preserves with more green mangoes and they ended up only being good for cooking with.
First I made Mango Cardamom Butter with a recipe from Preserves by Catherine Atkinson & Maggie Meyhew. This book has a lot of neat flavor ideas and combinations but frustrates me because it gives the yield for the recipes in pounds. I don’t have any idea what a jar of jam or butter weighs! I want to know the yield in a volume measure so I know what jars to prepare and how many I’ll have when I’m finished. Also, for many recipes it just tells you to seal the jars. I’m not comfortable with that and so I usually look for a similar recipe in another book to figure out how long to water-bath process it.
I doubled the original recipe and only ended up with three 1/2 pint jars plus another half full jar. So the original recipe would have had you go through all this work for one and a quarter jars of mango butter. I didn’t use all my mangoes and when I finished I wished I had tripled the recipe because it was very good and we don’t have enough to share. However, I wasn’t ready to do all the work again, so I used the rest of the mangoes for preserves. So you’ll have to make your own Mango Cardamom Butter. It is nice thick opaque butter with the wonderful hint of cardamom to spice up the mango flavor. It’s worth it.
Here’s my modified version of the Mango Cardamom Butter Recipe
- 4 lbs ripe mangoes ( about 6 mangoes)
- 12 green cardamom pods
- 1 cup bottled lemon juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- about 2 to 3 cups sugar
Slice mangoes on either side of the pit. Score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern and then cut away from peel. Slice peel off remaining pit and slice off whatever flesh you can.
Place mangoes in a pan with lemon and orange juice and water. Lightly crush the cardamom pods and place in a tea ball or cloth in the pan so you’ll be able to remove them later.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for 25 minutes more until mangoes are very soft and there is very little liquid left. Remove cardamom pods and discard.
Puree fruit using a blender, or food processor. Press the puree through a fine strainer into a measuring cup.
Return the puree to the pan. For each cup of puree, add a heaping 1/2 cup of sugar. ( My yield was 3 1/2 cups puree so I added a heaping 1 3/4 cups of sugar.)Gently heat while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for 10-20 minutes, stirring until a thick butter forms. A spoon full of the butter should hold its shape when spooned on a cold plate.
Ladle into warmed canning jars, seal with new lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Check for a firm seal.
Yield: 3 + half-pint jars.
With the rest of the mangoes I made Mango Preserves (above) which involve letting the mango seep in sugar for a few hours, cooking them to the jelling point, letting them plump overnight in the fridge, returning them to a boil and processing them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. We like to use these in cooking lentil and curry dishes.