Criminally Easy Rhubarb and Mango Dessert.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a good rip into the Irish mango scene. Practically every mango in every supermarket is as hard as Ronnie Kray on a bad day. Many of you will be too young, too foreign or too well brought up to know of the bold Ronnie. He and his brother Reggie made up the Kray Twins, who ran much of the crime in the West End of London during the 1950s and 1960s. They were a bad lot who killed their enemies with shocking regularity, dealt in drugs, gambling and extortion. They even mixed with politicians and celebrities. Unforgivable. I digress. I think you get the point about the hard mangos. This was my bugbear until I visited Ingredients Oriental Supermarket in our local village of Stillorgan.

This is not my first trip to Ingredients. The lads there carry a great range and are always very helpful. They even have a Halal butchery, if that is of interest to you. Last weekend, I managed to pick up a box of ripe, soft, delicious mangos there. I have been keen to prepare a mango and rhubarb dessert and this presented me with the opportunity. My Mango and Rhubarb Dessert really is a bowl of simple, healthy and delightful wonderfulness.


  • 1 bunch of rhubarb
  • 6 glorious ripe mangos
  • 1 lemon
  • Sugar to taste

The preparation for this is beyond easy. Trim, wash and chop the rhubarb.

Sharp and lovely rhubarb is the perfect partner for lovely sweet mango.

Place it in a saucepan with the sugar and a little water. Heat slowly until the rhubarb has broken down. Taste and adjust the sugar levels. Let it cool. Using a stick blender, blend it into a smooth purée.

The rhubarb blends really well. Light and fluffy.

Deseed and cut the mango into cubes. This is a doddle to do with ripe mangos. Impossible with their bowling ball cousins. Just run a knife around the circumference of fruit, on the longest side. Gently probe with the knife until you find the stone. Cut along the edge of it until you have freed one half of the mango. Cut through the flesh but not the skin in a criss-cross pattern. (Try to not think of Reggie and Ronnie while you are doing it.) Pop the skin to make the fruit stand up in a hedgehog pattern.

I feel I should say “Taa-daa” when I show this.

Trim the cubes and reserve. Repeat the process with the other half of the fruit. I had one fruit that was too soft for this. I scooped it out with a spoon and added it to the rhubarb. When you have the mango fruit in a big bowl, Apply the lemon juice (if needed). My mangos were sweeter than a litter of kittens sleeping in a candy floss cloud while being tended to by a three year old cherub (if you like that sort of thing), so they needed a bit of lemon.

The mango blitzes to a lovely smooth, light consistency.

Put a couple of spoons of rhubarb in the bottom of a dessert bowl.

So easy, so tasty too…

Cover with the smooth mango purée. Add a sprig of mint for fanciness.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Serve it to somebody who could do with a bit of softness. This is such a simple dessert, yet it has the potential to melt the hardest heart.

The dessert looks as good as it tastes. Do give it a try.

Footnote on the Krays. Have a read of the Wikipedia page linked here. It is salacious stuff.  The cast of characters would be incredible in a work of fiction. Here’s some of them: Jack “the Hat” McVitie, Inspector “Nipper” Read, Frank “the Mad Axeman” Mitchell, “Scotch Jack” Dickson. There is even reference to a documentary produced by Channel 4 in 2009 called “The Gangster and the Pervert Peer”. No further explanation needed. Though I bet that if Violet (their beloved mother) had fed the twins on this dessert, we wouldn’t have this story to tell.

Written by
Latest comments
  • Why didn’t you post this last week as I was up in Dublin at the weeknd and could have gone to Stillorgan for some ripe mangoes. Haven’t found anywhere in Galway that has mangoes that are ripe enough or sweet enough.

  • Whoops! I think some of your images haven’t loaded, I’m just seeing the lines of code/links to your media library. I’m so glad you got hold of some decent mangoes. This really is a desert of two hemispheres: rhubarb is the first ‘fruit’ of the northern season, and mangoes for the height of the southern summer. I love the idea of the combination, although it’ll be tricky trying it, as I can’t buy them both at the same time. Mind you, I have ripe mango in the freezer from last season!

      • Frozen chunks of mango, some Greek yoghurt, a dash of soda water and another of bitters, all whizzed up in a blender. The Slurp of the Gods…

          • When you find some, buy lots and freeze most of them…

          • 🙂

  • I too can not see any of your photos, only lines. When I grew up in Germany Rhubarb was a ‘ staple,’ during its season, here in Kerala of course it’s Mangoes. I love both, ripe (soft) and unripe ,(hard). Relishes!!!!

  • Sorry, last word above should read delicious!!!!

  • Photo problem here too… could not see any

    now, the “criminally easy” – I shall use that at some point on my blog… Will give you credit.. it is TOO GOOD! 😉

  • Sounds good and looks pretty!

  • What a interesting combination, I never would have thought of it myself,

  • Yes, well – Down Under seems recalcitrant also . . . time to sort this out as ‘glorious ripe mangoes’ won’t be back just awhile . . . oh, it would be fun to be part of ‘criminally delicious’ . . . .

  • Ha! I do love Tom Hardy movies. 🙂

      • Yeah I reckon so. I have to admit, I remember an earlier film about them, too. Not sure what that says about my movie habits!

  • Mont Ventoux THREE times in a day . . . . hell’s bells, why does your mob not ride ‘the Tour’ 🙂 ?

  • I don’t think there is any place in the world where this could be made with seasonal local ingredients. Not that that would stop me from making it. Trying to imagine what the combination would taste like.

  • Rhubarb (aka pie plant) is a favorite of mine! I love stewed rhubarb spooned over a little pound cake and vanilla ice cream. (OK, who am I kidding — I love any kind of rhubarb spooned in any way as long as it gets in my mouth! 😉 ) Haven’t thought about combining with mango. ‘Tis intriguing!

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: