Mango Pineapple Cake Filling

The other day I had an order for a retirement cake. The request for was for lemon buttermilk cake with tropical fruit filling. Tropical fruit filling is on my website's flavors page but no one has ever asked me for tropical fruit filling. So.....I needed to figure out how I was going to make a tropical fruit filling.

I decided on mangos and pineapple and ruled out bananas and coconut. I have found that organic mangoes ripen better and sweeter than conventionally grown mangoes so I should remember to only get organic. Next time.

I thought the best filling would simply be a type of jam or preserve made just like my berry jams but with tropical fruit. I peeled and cut the mango into chunks and used my processor to chop it more finely.

This was about two cups of finely chopped mango. I added it to a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple with the juice into a sauce pan.

I then added the juice and zest from two limes to add some citrusy acidity to all that sweetness.

After I heated the fruit to a low simmer I stirred in 3/4 cup of sugar in which I had mixed a teaspoon of my favorite jam-making pectin- Pomona's Universal Pectin.

I had never used Pomona's with any kind of tropical fruit so I wasn't sure that it would properly thicken the pineapple but it worked beautifully. I like Pomona's because you can use as much or as little sugar as you want, even no sugar if you prefer, and it still thickens the jam. It is not necessary to use copious amounts of sugar to set the pectic like with other commercial brands. With less sugar in the jam the flavors of the fruit are much brighter and natural tasting.

For a cake filling it was the perfect consistency. It was not too juicy and wouldn't ooze out the sides of the cake layers.

I still used a dam of icing around the edge of the cake. This filling was perfect for the lemon cake but it would be a delicious accompaniment to coconut cake or my orange cake too.

The retirement cake was for an orchard man so I decorated with pears and leaves that I had shaped from fondant. The clients were pleased!