Many desserts that originate from Hong Kong have a curious commonality: They involve a fair amount of seemingly old-fashioned canned products. Mango pudding became popular in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s, when the island territory’s agricultural industry was just starting up and canned evaporated milk was the main stable dairy source. (In later years, as Hong Kong rapidly modernized, canned products went from necessities to nostalgic cultural mainstays. Even today, with such a wide variety of homegrown food and rare imported products available, Hong Kongers still love their Spam, Horlicks, and Ovaltine.) In the past few decades, Mango Pudding has become a fixture in the United States as well, in both dim sum restaurants and Chinatown dessert shops. At home, Mango Pudding is incredibly easy to make using a blender or food processor. Be sure to use ripe mangoes, as they will be sweeter and juicier. The hardest part might just be waiting for the dessert to chill before digging in.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 2 large ripe mangoes (makes about 2 cups mango puree)
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- ½ cup sugar
- Fresh mango slices, raspberries, or kiwi slices for garnish
- special equipment
- Blender or food processor
- Peel the mangoes and slice the flesh from the pit. Put the slices into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- In a large glass bowl, add the hot water to the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Let the gelatin mixture stand for about 3 minutes. Add the evaporated milk and sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the mango puree and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into ramekins, wineglasses, or small shallow dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. After pudding is chilled, garnish with mango slices, raspberries, or kiwi slices (if using).