Things to Do with Mangoes

Well on Wednesday you had me rhapsodising about mangoes in the flesh, as it were, luscious, soft, exquisite, juicy ... (that's quite enough - Ed.) But if you can't get fruit of that quality, you can still do good things. The first of these is a recipe of L's, always popular if catering for a crowd. Sadly, for reliability she will usually go for frozen mango. The second recipe was just an invention of mine created on one of these rare occasions that a British bought mango ripened sufficiently.

Lesley Johnston's Mango Pavlova


4 egg whites; 225g caster sugar; pinch of salt; 1 tsp cornflour; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tsp white wine vinegar; sliced mangoes; dark rum (optional); cream or crème fraîche; butter to grease the baking sheet.


Preheat the oven to 140˚C/Mark 1. Draw a circle or oval on a sheet of grease proof paper, then use it to line a baking sheet (circle side down for hygiene), and grease.

Whisk the egg whites until moderately stiff. Then continue whisking while gradually adding the salt and sugar, then  the cornflour, vanilla  extract and vinegar. You want to get to the so called stiff peak stage. Be careful not to over whip.

Pile the mixture on to your baking sheet 3cm thick in a circle or oval. (You'll realise now why you drew the circle earlier.) Make a dip in the middle. Bake for 1 hour then switch off the oven and leave pavlova in oven till completely cool. You can leave it overnight. Peel off the grease proof paper.

While the meringue is cooling soak the mango in a little rum and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Once the base is completely cool fill centre with whipped cream or crème fraîche.

Drain the liquid from the fruit before putting it on top.

You can use any other soft fruit you fancy - but then it wouldn't be a mango recipe. If you don't want to use booze, try some lime zest on the top, or a sprinkling of passion fruit.

Mango with Prawns and Chilli

This can make a good starter, or a light summer lunch as well as a main meal. For that reason I've left the quantities vague. It's best served lightly chilled. If you've stored it in the fridge for any length of time, remove about half an hour before serving.


1 ripe mango, skinned and chopped into rough cubes; quantity of prawns, cooked and peeled; 1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped; freshly squeezed lime juice.


Mix the mango, chilli and prawns together in a bowl and leave for at least an hour. Just before serving, squeeze a generous amount of lime juice over it. Simples!

This is nice on its own, but you could serve it on a bed of salad, or with slices of avocado as per the photo.


  1. Janet Hood on 22nd July 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I love your prawns and chilli one (of course). Have you tried it with szechuan pepper? Amazing as well with chopped pecans and celery.

    • Tom Johnston on 22nd July 2022 at 4:50 pm

      The Szechuan pepper is the same idea, of course, and sounds good. Not sure about the other combo, but, as ever with cooking, the only limit is one’s own imagination.

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