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Anti-winter Recipes: Mangoes & Apricots

Canned and bruised, respectively, but, hey, they worked out pretty well.

Coconut Mango Bread (makes 3 loaves)

Sometimes I change recipes based on ingredient quantities. I.e., I don't want to be stuck with half a bag of shredded coconut and 1/3 can of mango puree left over.  So, as breads go, it's a lot like cake. 

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
(1) 30-oz. can of sweetened mango puree (about 3-1/2 cups)
(1) 7-oz bag of shredded coconut (about 2 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

If you can't find canned mango pulp: use fresh mango (peeled, seeded, chopped and pureed through food processor or blender), increase sugar to 1-1/2 cups, and add 1/4 cup orange juice (the canned pulp is very liquid).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Spray or grease three 9" x 5" loaf pans, or two 9" round cake pans. In a very large bowl, cream the butter, oil, and sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time. If you're compulsive, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl first, otherwise just add into the liquid ingredients directly, about a cup at a time, stirring just till smooth. Stir in the mango and blend well, then stir in the coconut and chopped nuts. Spoon evenly into prepared pans. Bake for about an hour, or till tester shows center is set.
 
Apricot Chutney (makes about 3 quarts)

This is what happens when you buy a lot of bruised and yet not-very-ripe apricots off the reduced produce shelves.

2 dozen apricots, skin left on, pitted & chopped (to pieces no more than 1/2" thick, with severely bruised sections removed)
2 medium onions, diced
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup dried chopped dates
1 lemon: juice and grated peel only
2 limes: juice and grated peel only
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 whole cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups red wine (or cider) vinegar
3 cups dark brown sugar
1 to 2 cups white sugar

Tie the cloves, coriander and allspice up in a cheesecloth bag, or use a teaball, so these can be removed afterward. Put all ingredients (but only 1 cup of the white sugar) into a large non-reactive pot (enameled or stainless steel) and mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You may need to keep reducing heat to keep the mixture from burning, but make sure there are stil bubbles forming. After the first hour, taste (carefully, it's hot!) and add more sugar as desired. By the end, you should have a thickened syrupy jam-like mixture. Remove the whole spices (including the cinnamon sticks) and put into small jars. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks, or process the jars in a hot water bath or similar to keep in the pantry for longer.
 
  

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