I love, love, love mango & sticky rice. It is so simple, but it's absolutely my favorite dessert of all time. Something about sweet, fresh, ripe mango with the chewy rice and sublime sweet coconut sauce...it's just such a magical and perfect combination and I can't get enough of it. When in Thailand, my goal was pretty much to order it every single time I could and it was glorious.
Once I got home, I had a late night, jet lag fueled stroke of genius - what if I put my perfect dessert into a tart?! YES! So I obsessively write myself a note on my phone to remember when I woke up and I spent a few days thinking about the best way to make my dream a reality.
The result was beautiful and amazing. Maybe one of my favorite things I've ever made.
I decided to go for a basic cookie crust with an addition of coconut and cashew for a little extra crunch. Crunch is the one thing that I thing could elevate the perfect dessert, so this crust was perfect and the flavors match really well without taking anything away from the beauty of the simple mango and coconut flavor combination. The filling is like a nice, thick rice pudding and it doesn't require specially steamed sticky rice to get a nice flavor and texture. It can also very easily be made vegan or not by just using a non-dairy butter in the crust!
This tart looks beautiful and impressive, but it's not very hard to make and the parts can be made ahead of a time and assembled before a big event.
Mango Sticky Rice Inspired Tart with Coconut & Cashew Crust
2 1/2 cups graham crackers or vanilla wafer cookies *
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup toasted cashews
5 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes *
*for a vegan tart, just use graham crackers and non-dairy butter or coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crackers, coconut, & cashews in a food processor. Pulse until ground to a thick powder texture. Add butter and blend until the mixture comes together and starts to stick to the sides. Use your fingers to pinch the mixture and make sure it is sticking together, if not you need to add a bit more butter. Lay the mixture out on a tart pan or springform pan and use your fingers press a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes until browned. Let cool before filling.
1 14oz can coconut cream (not coconut milk, make sure it's cream)
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
Whisk together the coconut cream, rice, and sugar. Mix the cornstarch and water well to make a slurry and add. In a large pot, heat over medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes to thicken. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and chill in the fridge for about an hour until fully cooled and thickened.
Assemble to tart by spreading the filling over the crust. Cover with the mango and serve.
The pretty rose effect is super simple to do, just lay your mango slices in a circular pattern, starting with the outside and working your way inward, layering the previous layer slightly until you get to the center. Cut a few smaller petal shapes for the center circle and finish by rolling up a slice. I used two varieties of mango which is why I have this gradient color and I liked that effect, but you don't need to get all fancy - just use whatever variety is available and ripe.
Whether you are a mango sticky rice fanatic like me, or you just want to give it a try - this is a perfect crowd pleaser with beautiful presentation!
What is your favorite dessert of all time?