Joe Gallivan’s birthday was on August 9th. I usually make a mango pie for that occasion, since it coincides with the height of mango season, but, this year, even though I had all the ingredients and equipment assembled, the mangos were green, and hard as rocks.
So, we waited another six days, until they turned golden and issued their unmistakeable fragrance.
If you live somewhere that has snow in the winter, fear not. Sliced, raw, ripe peaches can be used instead of mangos.
No need to light an oven in mid-August to make this pie.
Crust: Grind in a food processor, first a cup of cashews (neither toasted nor salted), then a cup of shelled walnuts, then, finally, half a cup of de-seeded and coarsely chopped deglet dates. Combine all three in a big bowl with a big spoon, until well blended. (Substitutions: unsalted macadamia nuts for cashews, pecans for walnuts).
Form the dough into a ball (or two), and then press the dough into the shape of a piecrust into a glass piepan or a ceramic bowl. (Or you could make tiny pies in custard cups.) Press the dough into an even thickness covering the bottom and sides of the container. Don’t place it over the lip of the piepan; it will just break off when you are trying to serve it.
Filling: Cut up the mangos inside a bowl, because, if they are ripe, they will exude a lot of juice, which you will want to capture and use. Place the bite size pieces of mango inside the prepared crusts, and measure the juice into heavy pot or a double boiler. Add more liquid, if necessary, to make a total of two cups – coconut milk, juice of another fruit, or purified water will all work. Add two droppers full of stevia liquid (or a commensurate amount of another sweetener, if you prefer), and two tablespoons of agar-agar (kanten) flakes.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer for five to ten minutes – stirring gently – until the agar-agar is completely dissolved.
Then pour the hot liquid over the mango pieces to within 1/2″ of the top of the pie shell.
Place the pies into the refrigerator, covering each one with an inverted ceramic plate, and let them chill for at least an hour. Overnight works, too.