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Tropical Mango Pastry Cream

“This easy-to-make pastry cream is great for filling tarts, pies and malasadas(for those of us of Hawaiian persuasion). Or simply top it with fruit for a quick treat.” - Lisa Nakamura


1 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds scraped out)
1 cup mango purée
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces cream cheese (brick; non-whipped)


In a small saucepan, scald milk (bring to a boil) with the vanilla bean seeds and mango purée. (Milk may look curdled due to the mango’s acid, but this is fine and the pastry cream will be smooth.) In a small bowl, whisk sugar into egg yolks. Note: It’s very important to add the sugar to the yolks and not the yolks to the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, add flour. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into a bowl, whisking constantly to make sure everything is mixed well. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. As you whisk, the mixture will go from foamy to creamy. When the foam is gone and the liquid is viscous, let the mixture boil once (it will go ‘bloop’), then let boil for 30 seconds on medium. This will ensure that the flour is completely cooked. Once this happens, remove it from the heat and stir in cream cheese. (I find it easiest to use an immersion blender to get all the little cream cheese chunks to smooth out.) Remove the pastry cream from the pot and place in an ice bath (a small bowl placed in a larger bowl that’s filled with ice and water). Keeps about 5 days. Makes 3 cups (enough to fill the bottom of an 8-inch tart shell).

Mango Purée
Start with super ripe mangoes; peel them and remove pits then purée in a food processor. In Hawaii, when mango season hits, this is a great way to save the yummy fruit for later use, such as mango bread, ice cream, or hey, pastry cream.

This recipe courtesy of Lisa Nakamura, chef/owner of Allium on Orcas Island