Mango Passion Fruit Crumble with a Baobab Tigernut Crust

Mango Passion Fruit Crumble with a Baobab Tigernut Crust. Now doesn't that sound tropical? One of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts has always been my mum's signature apple crumble. With a perfectly crispy crust and delicious apple base, it's a hit at the dinner table.

Because I'm living in Ghana, I missed American Thanksgiving this year, so I was happy when a few friends decided to throw an epic Ghanaian Thanksgiving in Legon Botanical Gardens. The table was a decadent mash-up of Africa and America: sweet potato casserole, kelewele, jollof rice, and other goodies. While I love to cook, I always pick desserts during potlucks because baking is my first love and it gives me a chance to be creative. In my attempt to harmonize Africa and America, I thought about combining a traditional American favorite with local flavors you can find on the streets of West Africa.

The dessert was a hit among all my friends. The tart flavor of the passion fruit was brought out by a hint of lime juice while the sweet mango balanced the dish. I ground some tiger nuts with a mortar and pestle and added it to the crust. 

If you've been following my culinary exploits lately, you'll see that I've got baobab on the brain. The superfruit has one of the highest vitamin C concentrations of any fruit, and has numerous benefits for the skin, heart and liver. It also has a slightly sweet yet tart taste which makes it easy to reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe. I doubled the superfruit effect by adding tiger nuts, which despite their name, aren't actually nuts. They're tubers, and are gluten-free and high fiber. Often called "earth almonds," they have a wonderful sweet, nutty taste and are sometimes used in horchata (one of my next adventures). You can produce tiger nut milk by soaking them, and they can be ground and used as a wheat flour substitute. If I were to reproduce this recipe again, I would attempt it with a tiger nut flour.

Check out the recipe below, and let me know what you think!

Mango Passion Fruit Crumble with a Baobab Tigernut Crust

1 cup tigernuts
1/4 cup baobab pulp (You can purchase some from UK company Aduna)
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter, cold and cut into pieces  
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (I prefer these to quick-cooking oats because they have a thicker texture)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut
3 passion fruit
Juice from one medium lime 

  1. Grind the tigernuts with a mortar and pestle or food processor until they become a smooth powder. 
  2. Cut the passion fruit open, remove the pulp and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Mix the baobab, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, oats, butter pieces and stir well.
  5. Place the mango in the greased baking dish, and spoon the passion fruit on top, drizzle the juice of the lime over the mango-passion fruit mixture. Mix the fruit evenly.
  6. Cover the fruit with the flour topping, and sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg evenly on top.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the top has browned and the fruit is tender, about 20 minutes.*


*If the top is not browned after 20 minutes, broil the crumble for 3 - 4 minutes, watching carefully to ensure it does not burn. 


Akinyi OchiengComment