Mango Crumble


Mango season

We wait the whole year for mangoes. Finally its December and all you want is the pure unadulterated pleasure of a sweet mango. Tearing into the sweet flesh above the kitchen sink, juices dripping everywhere. Or for the more civilized, cut up neatly and eaten with a spoon or fork and knife.  Either way it doesn’t matter. It’s pure joy.


By the time February rolls in, there are more mangoes than you can eat. So now it’s on pancakes, smoothies, fruit salads, in kachumbari, you name it.

I personally think mangoes are at their best from February on. They are the late harvest and have had enough time to ripen on the tree. By this time, we are all looking for dessert recipes with mango.


Mango dessert recipe

The simplest is a crumble. It’s very hard to mess up and is easier than cake. There’s also a mango upside down cake. But that’s a post for another day.


Is there a difference between crumble and crisp

After a lot of online research, from a purist point of view, a crumble does not have oats. While a crisp does. But people have become very creative with crumble toppings, such that now the two words are used interchangeably.


Crumble topping

  • There are variations, but the constant is flour, sugar and butter
  • The ratio varies (by weight) from 1:0.5:0.5 to 1:0.7:0.7
  • Chill before spreading it over the fruit
  • Don’t press it down when spreading it over the fruit
  • Bake until the juices bubble through


Mango flavour combinations

Other fruit

  • apples (best precooked a little before)
  • guava
  • lemons
  • passion fruit
  • peaches
  • pears (best precooked a little before)
  • pineapple


  • basil
  • mint
  • thyme
  • sage (yet to try this but i think it would work)


  • cardamom
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • star anise


  • brandy
  • rum


Mango and Lemon

This crumble was inspired by childhood memories of eating green mangoes rubbed with a lemon dipped in chilli powder and salt.

Pears are also in season from February so they are easily available, cheap and at their absolute best.


Mango Crumble


  • 100g (1/2 cup less a Tablespoon) butter
  • 175g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 lemon – zest and juice
  • 2-3 large firm mangoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


Rub the 100 grams butter, 175 grams flour and, 50 grams coconut with your fingers, until it resembles bread crumbs. Add in the 75 grams sugar and rind/zest/skin of 1 lemon. Drizzle a little lemon juice over the crumble mix.

Chill in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 170°C or 375°F.

Peel and cube the mangoes. Pour lemon juice over the cubed mangoes and sprinkle a teaspoon of ginger.

Spoon the mango onto the baking dish. Spread the crumble topping on top of the fruit to complete. (Freeze any extra crumble topping for another day.)

Bake in the preheated oven about 40 minutes or more. When the topping is golden and the juices are bubbling through, it is done.

Remove and drizzle some rum (if you wish).

Serve warm with ice cream.

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