Improving Upon the New York Times' Most Popular Dessert Recipe -- with Mangoes

In Cuba, mango season is over. For the last several months, our backyard was a minefield, as every few minutes a ripening mango would fall from one of our enormous shadow-casting trees and go splat in our yard. My husband and our children would go in the yard with an umbrella to collect the harvests. They’d come back in with a paint bucket filled with fruit. We had so many mangoes that it would stress me out, even after we distributed the bulk of them to our neighbors and friends. It was practically the only fruit we were eating by itself, in luscious little cubes, or cut up with other tropical fruit. I made mango salsa (recipe to come), mango milkshakes, and Jell-O with cubes of mango in it. 

 And even though mango season is over, I am dealing with pounds of them still. During the height of the season, we froze mangoes, placing them in gallon-sized zip-locks bags and storing them in one of the three refrigerators that were provided in our home. One day last week, while online browsing the New York Times cooking section, I stumbled across a recipe for plum torte. It originally appeared in 1983 and was reprinted every year for years, making it one of the most popular and requested New York Times recipes of all time.  

Mangoes landing in our backyard, fortunately intact. 

Mangoes landing in our backyard, fortunately intact. 

Living in Cuba, I don't enjoy reading recipes and cookbooks the way I used to. The list of ingredients often remind me of all the things we don't have in Cuba. But the New York Times recipe gave me inspiration instead, since mangoes and plums have a similarly soft, sweet, and fibrous consistency. Voila! The Cuban mango torte was born. Having tried this recipe, I understand the torte's popularity -- it is endlessly adaptable, it has a list of ingredients that you're likely to already have in your pantry, and it is delicious!  

I thought I’d be sick of mangoes by this point. But now that I've found this recipe, I am beginning to wish that I'd frozen more of them. 

Mango Torte (adapted from The New York Times plum torte recipe)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2-3 cups mango, cut up into the size of peach quarters
1 tbs sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon the batter into a springform pan or pie plate of 9 inches. Place the  mango slice on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Bake for at least 50 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove and cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.