Mango Bread

I first encountered this dense, moist loaf -- more cake than bread, in my mind – in Hawaii, where people sometimes have more mangoes than they know what to do with.  Golden raisins or nuts (macadamias are a natural) are a common addition; if you choose to use them, fold about ¾ cup into the batter at the end.  Thawed frozen mango is a great shortcut here, but the chunks are usually big so you should cut them smaller.

The bread is great when fresh, but even better the day after it was made.  It can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes one 8½ x 4½-inch loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 medium mangoes, peeled, flesh chopped small (enough to make 2 generous cups) or a 1 pound bag frozen mango chunks, thawed, large chunks cut smaller
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup safflower or other neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated zest from 1 large orange
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Set the oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter or spray an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray, and set aside. 
  2. In a food processor, puree half the mango. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the mango puree, eggs, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice to blend completely.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the sugar and orange zest together until sugar is moist and fragrant.  Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger and whisk to combine.  Add the mango-egg mixture and with a flexible spatula, fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined and smooth (do not over-mix). 
  4. Fold in the remaining chopped mango (and raisins or nuts, if using). 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, use the spatula to smooth the top, and bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes (tent loosely with foil if it’s browning too much).
  6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, cool for 10 minutes, turn out the loaf, and return it to the rack right side up. 
  7. Cool to room temperature, slice, and serve.