This is a simple dish that pays huge rewards. It was born from my love of all things caramel and my curiosity about the taste of roasted mango, which I now know is really, really good! I started by creating a caramel sauce with vanilla and green cardamom, flavors that go really well with mango. To make the caramel sauce a little saucy (sorry, I couldn’t resist), I decided to spike it with a little rum. You then add your fresh mango to the caramel-rum sauce and let it bubble away stovetop for a few minutes so the juices of the mango marry with the sauce. All that’s left is roasting the mango in the caramel-rum sauce for a brief spell, during which time the mango will begin to lightly caramelize. How you serve it is up to you -- it happens to be my new favorite topping for Greek yogurt, and it would be equally at home over ice cream, pound cake, or French toast. —EmilyC
Test Kitchen Notes
Simple and delicious, EmilyC's roasted mangoes with a boozy rum kick are so versatile you'll go back to them again and again. Slices of mango tossed with a light carmel syrup flavored with hints of cardamom and vanilla. Let the mangoes roast a little longer in the oven to thicken up the syrup and be careful when adding the rum to the hot syrup -- it splatters up. —jvcooks
Peel and pit your mangoes, then cut them into 1” slices or chunks. Set aside.
Split your vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In an ovenproof skillet (8" works well) or a low-sided sauce pan, stir together the sugar, water, vanilla bean + seeds, and green cardamom pods. Over high heat, cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel -- about 5 to 7 minutes. Take the pan off the burner and add the rum. Return the pan to the burner, lower the heat, and cook until the rum and caramel melt together, about 2 minutes. If your sauce begins to thicken or clump, simply stir it until it’s smooth or add a teaspoon or so of water if necessary. You're looking for a light, thin caramel sauce -- not one that's thick or sticky. Add the mango and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan a few times to evenly coat the mango with the rum-caramel sauce.
Transfer your pan to the oven and roast until the juices are bubbling and the mango begins to slightly wither around the edges -- about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Add sea salt to taste and remove the vanilla bean and green cardamom pods (reserving the vanilla bean for another use). The caramelized mango can be served hot or cooled to room temperature. You can also refrigerate it for a few days -- letting it come to room temperature or gently reheating it before use.