Creamy Goodness: Mango Custard, or Vahalappam

Me and custard, we’re BFFs.


I like it so much and it’s no surprise that my favorite desserts contain it in some way shape or form.

Chocolate bread pudding.

Crème Brulee.



Me, at Anderson’s custard in Buffalo, NY. Yes, I’m eating ice cream wearing my puffy down coat. The contradiction is not lost on me.

I mean, frozen custard > ice cream> slow churn > froyo.

Froyo? Get that outta my face.

If I’m going to have a frozen, milky (or, now in my case, non-dairy milky) concoction it’s going to be ice cream grade or higher. Yes, I’m a snob. I’m also an August birthday. Ice cream might as well run through my blood.

How did I start talking about ice cream? Custard. Right.  So today, we have another custard. Despite my love, attempts here on the blog have been moderately successful. Crème brulee was okay, but the coconut pudding was a big fat fail.  Let’s try again.

Rutabaga presented me with two desserts of choice: a sort of mango-whipped-coconut cream-thing and a straight-up baked custard thing (aka Vahalappam).  I couldn’t choose. I had to choose. I chose to combine them.  So, we have mango baked custard, a non-dairy, tropical twist on my favorite sick-kid meal (Mama Buddha used to spoon custard down our sick throats when we didn’t feel like eating anything else).

I altered the original recipe a bit to add the mango, obviously, but I also made it non-dairy. Coconut and cashew milk make this oh-so-creamy.


Preparation notes:

  1. Take the time to strain the liquids and mango puree. I’m usually anti-straining because I’m lazy, but I didn’t really want mango chunks in this. So, take that 30 seconds to make it nice and smooth.
  2. The original recipe didn’t mandate a water bath, but I did one just in case. I also had extra liquid enough to make one ramekin that did not fit into my water bath. It’s ugly (though still tasty), but here is the top and side comparision.

 Without the water bath

Recently Updated6

With the water bath

Recently Updated7

So, water bath for beauty points.


Here we go:

Makes 5 ½ – cup size ramekins


4 eggs

5 oz. palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)

½ cup water

½ cup lite coconut milk

¼ cup cashew milk

1 mango, chopped and pureed in a blender or food processor

½ tsp cardamom powder

1/8 tsp ground cloves


1.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.  In a small saucepan, add the water and sugar, and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside to cool slightly.

3.  Beat the eggs slightly. Add the milks and spices.  Slowly add the sugar mixture and mango puree.

4.  Pass the whole mixture through a strainer.  Pour liquid into 5 ramekins.

5.  Place the ramekins in a bigger roasting pan, and fill the pan with water until the water level goes halfway up the ramekin.

6.  Bake in for about 1 hour, 15 minutes until the center of each custard bowl jiggles.  Immediately place in the fridge to cool and set, at least two hours.


So, this was good. Way good. Good enough to attempt a frozen variety this summer perhaps…

Oh, and I’m not sure why there is that caramelized sugar look on top. It’s not, but that would be good. You can do that if you like.


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