Paradise Autumn Pie

September 15, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

How do you make a pie that celebrates the fall season when you live in the tropics? This pie is my best answer. I scoured my favorite farmer’s market this past Saturday and instead of apples and pears, raspberries and peaches, I found a beautiful, nearly ripe Haden mango and apple bananas. Apple bananas are slightly tart with an unusually dry texture (even when ripe). I prefer them to regular Cavendish bananas. September in Hawai`i also marks the beginning of star fruit or carambola season and, lucky for me, I have a friend with a very productive tree and little interest in the yellow, slightly tart, subtly sweet star-shaped fruit. She had given me a bag bursting with star fruit on Friday. My initial idea was to do some slumping, star-fruit style this weekend, and make a mango-apple banana pie. However, since I could only find one nearly ripe mango at the farmer’s market, I quickly changed my plan, incorporated some Maui Gold rum, Saigon cinnamon, palm sugar, fresh grated ginger and toasted walnuts – all for warm, spicy notes to contrast the sweet, tropical flavors that are plentiful in paradise. Until now, I have always lamented the lack of true seasons here, especially when it came to eating. I am still sorry I cannot buy local apples, but making and eating this pie makes me feel a little better about it. Note: I am a fledgling baker and have to work on my pie crust skills. I used a combination butter and shortening crust from Simply Recipes and was very pleased with the flaky texture. I am including the recipe below. I found that rolling the dough out between two large pieces of parchment made the task much easier. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • For filling:
  • 1 large firm, ripe Haden mango – can substitute another sweet variety
  • 3 ripe star fruit (yellow to light orange in color), edges trimmed (see photo) and waxy skin peeled with a sharp knife
  • 4 firm, ripe apple bananas, peeled (I would not recommend substituting Cavendish)
  • 1/4 cup cup evaporated palm sugar “blonde” - can substitute light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good quality gold rum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated with a ceramic or stainless steel grater
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, cooled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Double pie crust for one 9 inch pie – feel free to use the recipe below or your favorite, either homemade or store bought
  • For pie crust (from Simply Recipes):
  • 2 1/2 cups cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening (I used Spectrum brand)
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water
  1. For filling:
  2. Adjust oven rack to bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Carefully peel and cube mango flesh, discard seed (I was able to get 2 cups of fruit). Place fruit in a large bowl.
  4. Slice star fruit crosswise to end up with star shaped pieces. Using your fingers or the tip of a sharp knife, remove seeds (I had 1 ½ cups of fruit). Add star fruit to mango.
  5. Slice peeled bananas crosswise (I had 2 ½ cups of fruit). Add bananas to star fruit-mango mixture.
  6. Add palm sugar, gold rum, ginger, cinnamon and salt to bowl with fruit. Using a large spoon, gently stir to combine. Fold in toasted finely chopped walnuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator while you roll out refrigerated dough.
  7. Roll out dough (lightly floured on top), one disk at a time, between two large pieces of parchment paper on a flat surface. If dough is too stiff, let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before rolling. When dough extends two inches all around beyond inverted pie dish, you can stop rolling. Carefully transfer dough to pie dish, using parchment (by peeling off one side first) to help guide the thin piece of dough.
  8. Add filling to pie, dot with room temperature butter, and cover with top crust. Trim extra dough hanging over edge of dish with kitchen shears. Using fingers or a fork, pinch edges of bottom and top crust together and finish the crust with a pinched or pressed edge. Using a sharp knife, cut decorative vents in top to allow steam to escape.
  9. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes until top is golden brown and fragrant. Allow pie to cool a bit before serving.
  10. ENJOY! Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  1. For pie crust (from Simply Recipes):
  2. Combine flour, salt and sugar in food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse a few times. Add shortening, in tablespoon sized chunks and pulse again. Butter bits should be about the size of peas. Sprinkle in 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Pulse dough. If the dough holds together when pinched, it is ready. If it does not hold, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition.
  3. Remove dough from machine and mound on a clean surface. Divide into two balls and flatten each into a 4 inch wide disk. Be careful not to over-knead. Dust lightly with flour and wrap each disk in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days before rolling out.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • lapadia
  • AntoniaJames
  • mrslarkin
  • thirschfeld

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

9 Reviews

Sagegreen September 16, 2010
lapadia September 15, 2010
This is "paradise" for sure! Thanks for sharing.
gingerroot September 16, 2010
Thanks, lapadia. I will send you a piece of my pie if you send me a piece of yours (they all sound wonderful, especially the blackberry or apple squash).
AntoniaJames September 15, 2010
Beautiful, intriguing recipe . . . gorgeous, appealing photos! Wow. ;o)
gingerroot September 16, 2010
Thanks AJ! You have made my day with your kind words. I hope that if you ever have star fruit, mango and apple bananas on hand that you would consider giving this a whirl and let me know what you think.
mrslarkin September 15, 2010
I have tropical pie envy! This is beautiful.
gingerroot September 15, 2010
Thank you so much, mrslarkin! It means a lot to me, coming from you. Likewise, I have apple pie envy - your scrumptious pie is gorgeous. My grandmother always made apple pie at Thanksgiving - I think I will make yours this year.
thirschfeld September 15, 2010
And I am guessing you are going to tell me you walk out you back door and pick all these great fruits for this wonderful looking pie. One thing I like about Hawaii, or at least Maui, is everyone seems to have a mango tree and guava trees in their or their neighbors yard.
gingerroot September 15, 2010
Thanks, thirschfeld. And yes, one of the best things about living here is that the landscape is dotted with tropical fruit trees and inevitably someone you know has mango, pomelo, star fruit, or papaya in their backyard and share generously.