The sweet creamy slice of the mango cheesecake held firm on the cake cutter. The crisp, buttery graham cracker crust stayed together. I savored a forkful of this fruity heaven on a Filipino cheesecake. It was like a dream.
I’ve written it before and I’ll say it again. Dad always said “The best and sweetest mangoes are those that are tree-ripened”. How I wish I could harvest a fresh tree-ripened mango again one more time, the way I used to when we were kids. My late dad was the authority on agriculture and produce. He pioneered in farm to fork methods back in the Philippines, as a regular way of life.
As for mangoes,the Philippines’ national fruit, we had trees in our yard and our farm for generations before me. Nobody else knew the fruit the way Dad did. I miss his reminders about how to harvest a good one, how to store them, how to slice it.These were the little things that I took for granted as a child, but have stayed like a permanent imprint on my subconscious filed under “Mangoes: Good to Know This”.
Yesterday was my late dad’s birthday. I thought of him as I arranged the fresh ripe golden mangoes in my fruit bowl at the dining table. I held up one big giant Ataulfo mango, sniffed its fragrance, felt its soft ripeness and I knew this one would be superb on a cheesecake.
So I quickly retrieved my basic cheesecake recipe. It was a simple one-piece cream cheese concoction I had devised a long time ago – more out of desperation because I had ran out of ingredients and decided the short list will do fine.
I mixed in a fresh pureed mango, topped the fresh slices on the already done cheesecake and even poured some mango glaze syrup all over it. The result was mango-marvelous. If dad were still with us today, I would have loved to make this for him on his birthday. But in his absence, I’ll live in the present and take the mango-memories of everything he taught me about my favorite fruit. Happy Birthday, Dad!
This is an easy to do basic cheesecake recipe, flavored with fresh golden ripe mangoes. I merely used one package of cream cheese and let the sweetness of a fully ripened mango do all the rest. Everything was held together by the buttery graham cracker crust. This is good to make ahead and chill for a few hours. It's a perfect Filipino cold dessert for a warm summer day, or any day you crave mangoes and cheesecake!
- granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
- graham cracker crumbs - 1 and 1/3 cup
- butter - 6 Tablespoons, melted
- cream cheese - 1 (8 ounce) pack, softened
- whole eggs - 3 large
- sour cream - 1/2 cup
- fresh mango puree - 1/2 cup, from a fully ripened fruit or canned mango juice
- lemon extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- fresh ripe mango - 1 whole, pitted, sliced in strips
- mango puree - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- Mix these ingredients together for the crust: sugar, graham cracker crumbs, sugar. Press firmly with a fork into an 8-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up. Then bake in a reheated oven at 350 F degrees for 15 minutes. When done, take out of the oven and prepare the filling.
- In a stand mixer, over medium speed, mix together the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, mango puree and lemon extract.
- Pour the filling into the prepared graham cracker crumb crust.
- Bake in a preheated oven 325 F degrees, for 40 to 45 minutes. Test for doneness, if knife comes out clean, it is done.
- Take out cheesecake from oven and cool on the counter.
- When thoroughly cooled, arrange the mango slices on top in a decorative shape. Boil together the half cup sugar and mango puree till it becomes syrupy and slightly thick. Pour the mango syrup over the cheesecake and sliced mango topping just before serving. Chill the cheesecake for 6 hours or more and serve cold.