How to Make Mango Curd
This is the 11th of 12 fruit curd posts I’ve made lately! Whew!
If you haven’t noticed the plethora of curd recipes, there are links to each, further down.
Anyway - a while back - I had a bit of an epiphany on making fruit curds.
Many non-lemon curds end up runny - they don’t set up properly, as they lack the acid level that lemons have.
You need enough acid to react with the proteins in the egg yolks, to ensure a nice, thick product. Without that, you end up with a runny curd.
Generally speaking, non-lemon curd means either accepting a runnier curd, or supplementing the focus fruit with some lemon juice.
Two problems with that:
1. The intended fruit flavour is diluted with the flavour from the lemon.
2. The acid that the lemon juice brings is diluted with the base fruit ... so it still doesn't set up quite as thick as lemon curd.
What if - instead of supplementing with lemon juice - I brought in additional acid in the form of citric acid?
It worked beautifully!
So, obviously, I had to test the limits, and make alllllll the curds.
Mango curd is one of the easiest curds to come out of that marathon curd making adventure.
It’s actually easier to make than lemon curd is, as you don’t need to juice or zest anything!
... it does, unfortunately, resemble Cheez Whiz - especially in photos.
Which, you know, could be fun for pranking people.
No matter what it looks like, it has an absolutely amazing mango flavour, and works up very quickly!
Like lemon curd, it also requires some specifics with regards to ingredients, equipment, and technique... so let's get to it!
Uses for Mango Curd
Beyond a “just eat it with a spoon, straight from the jar”, there are many, many different uses for mango curd!
Here are a few ideas for you:
- On the breakfast table. Spread it on toast, Biscuits, scones, etc. Spoon it over waffles or pancakes (especially good when topped with berries!)
- Mango curd is also a great option for Butterfly Cupcakes, either instead of or in addition to frosting. When “in addition to”, I’ll spoon some curd in the cavity, then pipe frosting over it.
- Use as a topping for Pavlova. I like to do the layer of whipped cream, then the curd, and finally the fruit topping. You can even mix some into the whipped cream to flavour it. Alternately, it’s great as an offering on a Pavlova Dessert Board.
- Spoon it over ice cream, Cheesecake, or crepes.
- We like to drizzle it over yogurt that’s been topped with my Porter’s Yogurt and Ice Cream Topping.
- You can also make layered parfaits with curd and yogurt, or curd and cottage cheese.
* When filling layered cakes with curd, it’s best to pipe a ring of frosting around the outer perimeter of the layer being filled, then fill the inside of that border with the curd.
This gives some stability to the filling layer, and will prevent the curd from oozing out.
Tips for Making Mango Curd
Mango Curd Ingredients
Most of the ingredients are super simple: mango, sugar, eggs, and butter.
I use canned Mango Pulp for this recipe.
It’s a favourite ingredient of mine - usually found in the international section at grocery stores, or at any Indian grocer.
It’s a quick and easy way to get a TON of mango flavour, without the hassle of dealing with fresh fruit.
In this case, it also ensures a very smooth final product. Smooth as Cheez Whiz, LOL!
When I was living in the USA, Swad Kesar Sweetened Mango Pulp was our default, as it was readily available in our local grocer’s international foods aisle for about $3/ can.
Now that we’ve moved back to Canada, the brand that we see more often locally - Quality Alphono Mango Pulp - is the one we tend to default to.
Both taste great and work well, so go with what you have access to - there are plenty of brands out there, I’m sure they’re all great. It’s mango and sugar, after all!
The Other Ingredients
Use basic white granulated sugar for the best taste.
Also, for the best shelf life, use nice fresh eggs.
One last ingredient, the one that’s key to making a great mango curd?
Citric acid is the “secret” ingredient to providing enough acid for the curd to set up, without diluting the flavour of the curd.
Mango Curd Equipment
You don’t need a ton of equipment to make curd, but each piece you do need is important. Here’s the rundown:
Heavy Bottomed Pot OR Double Boiler
Personally, I prefer using a heavy bottomed pot, but a double boiler is the traditional way to do this... more on that in a bit!
A Silicone Whisk
Yes, wire whisks are great in general... but they can react with the acid in your mango curd, and make it taste metallic.
I like to avoid that whole thing, and just use a silicone whisk.
When making curd, I use the smallest whisk in my Set of 3 Silicone Whisks.
I just find that the smaller one is best to keep everything moving, and prevent clumps.
That said, any brand of silicone whisk should do just fine.
For both proper thickening AND food safety reasons, I like to use a thermometer when making fruit curds.
You can use any thermometer that will accurate read a temperature of 165 F.
Personally, I like to use a Infrared Cooking Thermometer. It's quick, easy, and no-mess!
While you’re “supposed” to cook this over a double boiler - and I did in the photos - I’ll be honest... I never do.
I like to cook mango curd over low, direct heat. I whisk it constantly, and it’s ready in just minutes - so much less fussy.
If you’re not cooking it over higher heat and you keep an eye on it / keep whisking, you’re not going to end up with clumps.
I like to use a heavy bottomed pot, for the best heat distribution.
You’ll find that when you start out, there will be a lot of foaming. As you approach the right temperature, that foaming will subside - that’s when you should really start keeping an eye on the temperature, to avoid overcooking it.
Finally, just know that the curd will thicken more as it cools, so don’t be so worried if it’s not as thick as you’d like.
If you followed the recipe, did the spoon trick (more on that later), and your curd reached 165F, it’ll thicken!
How Long Does Mango Curd Last?
Depending on who you ask, homemade mango curd will last up to a month or two in the fridge. (ALWAYS refrigerate your curd!)
Personally, I find it’s best to use it up within 2 weeks, for the best flavour.
Can I Freeze Mango Curd?
Yes! It’ll keep for about 6 months in the freezer, and you can freeze it right in a canning jar.
Freeze your curd as fresh as possible - ie, don’t wait til it’s about to go bad.
When you want to use it, let it defrost in the fridge for a day or two before use.
Once the mango curd is thawed, you’ll want to use it within a week or two.
How to Make Mango Curd
Full recipe follows, but let's start with the pictorial overview!
In a small pot, whisk together egg yolks, large egg, and sugar until well combined.
Add the mango pulp and the citric acid, whisk until well combined.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens.
It should be able to coat the back of a spoon and retain a clear trail when a finger is dragged across the back of the spoon. Ideally, you want the mixture to reach 165F - I use an infrared surface thermometer for this.
Once the mixture is thick/hot enough, transfer to a bowl. Add the pieces of butter, whisking until well incorporated.
Once all of the butter has melted in and been fully incorporated into the curd, transfer mango curd to your storage container and chill for at least 1 hour before use.
More Fruit Curd Recipes
Looking for more fun fruit curd recipes to dress up your breakfasts, brunches, or desserts? I've got you covered!
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Easy Mango Curd
- In a small pot, whisk together egg yolks, large egg, and sugar until well combined. Add the mango pulp and the citric acid, whisk until well combined.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon and retain a clear trail when a finger is dragged across the back of the spoon. Ideally, you want the mixture to reach 165F - I use an infrared surface thermometer for this.
- Once mixture is thick / hot enough, transfer to a bowl. Add the pieces of butter, whisking until well incorporated.
- Once all of the butter has melted in and been fully incorporated into the curd, transfer mango curd to your storage container and chill for at least 1 hour before use.