Happy end of summer everyone!
I can’t believe Fall is on it’s way. However, until Labor Day I can squeeze in more summer and that means…….summer fruit sweets! Yay! And what better way is there to get excited about my upcoming trip to Disney World than to share a dessert recipe that’s inspired from Pongu Pongu at Pandora World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom!! Growing up my mom’s best friend was from Guam. Instead of making egg rolls they make what they call Lumpia. It’s a thinner, crispier wrapper that you can find at all Asian grocery stores. You can roll just about anything and fry it. We would get together before a big church party and make 500 different varieties and there would never be a single one left on a platter! Banana, cherry pie, mango, peach….etc. You would dip these lumpia in Thai Sweet Chili Sauce to accompany the creamy, sweet flavors melding together.
At Pongu Pongu people are starting to rave over the Pineapple Lumpia which consists of pineapple, cream cheese and sugar. I decided to finally share my childhood recipe of Pineapple Cheesecake Lumpia dipped in a mango caramel sauce. When you bite into these you are tasting summer at it’s finest! Or you are like me and hubby- dreaming of your next trip to the Caribbean!
Forgive all of the detailing, but for first-timers I want to make sure you feel comfortable making these, as anyone should be able to and you will be the hit of the dinner party if you make these for anyone! Okay, now let’s wrap & roll!!!
Pineapple Cheesecake Lumpia w/ Mango Caramel Sauce Dip
1 Package Spring Roll Wrappers(comes square in plastic packaging in the freezer section of your local Asian market)
1 Egg, beaten in a small bowl(you will use this as glue to seal the edge of the lumpia when wrapping and rolling)
Vegetable oil for frying
16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 tsp. Vanilla
20 oz. can Crushed Pineapple(drain all the water out AND strain; see in instructions)
1 Mango peeled, cubed and put into blender or food processor
1 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Water
1/4 C. Coconut Milk or Heavy Cream
Cheesecake mix: Once you have all of the water out of the can of pineapple, push in mesh strainer to get more water out. The more liquid you get out the better. Liquid in lumpia when frying creates a big disaster in hot oil. You will have about a little over 1 cup of pineapple fruit after straining.
Preferably in a standup mixer(but you can wooden spoon and bowl it-it’ll just take longer) mix together the cream cheese, vanilla and crushed pineapple until smooth enough that cream cheese isn’t in lumps.
Mango Caramel Sauce Dip: In a saucepan boil 1 1/2 cups water and 1 cup of sugar until dark amber in color. Should look like this: See the dark amber in the middle? It should take anywhere from 6-12 minutes depending on the cookware and stove top.
While the sugar mix is getting to that point blend the mango in a blender, Vitamix, or food processor until it is like ‘baby food” smooth pulp. The more smooth the better!
When the sugar mix reaches the dark amber color add 1/4 cup coconut milk. For those that don’t like coconut substitute heavy cream and you’ll get a more buttery flavor. Also add the mango pulp and stir, letting the caramel get frothy and reducing more, like this:
Take caramel sauce off heat and let cool. It should look like this consistency when cooled:
To wrap: Place the cheesecake mix in front of you, as well as the bowl of beaten egg. Peel off 1 spring roll wrapper from the stack and lay it in front of you like a diamond. Dip a finger in the beaten egg and smear egg on the top corner of the diamond to act as a glue when you roll it up. Place a heaping spoonful of cheesecake mix into the lower middle of the diamond, lift the bottom corner of the diamond up and over the mix, fold over both side corners(folding left over right or vice versa)and roll the rest of the way up. Here’s some helpful visuals:
Heat oil in pot, enough to cover 5 or 6 rolls at a time, fry on med-high heat until golden brown and crispy looking. Drizzle mango caramel sauce on lumpia or just dip and enjoy! Here’s hubby “helping me out” by devouring one and letting me squeeze in a picture moment!
You can freeze these, however try to use foil or parchment and place in between each roll so that they don’t stick together while freezing. The last thing you want is rolls stuck together and breaking when you try to pry them apart to fry. If making several hours ahead and putting in fridge, place a damp paper towel over the plate of rolls to keep the wrappers from drying out. If the wrappers are too dry they won’t crisp up as deliciously when they fry.
So enjoy the last days of summer, enjoy looking forward to tropical vacations or wherever else makes you feel the most magical and there will be more “inspired” recipes to come, especially after I attend the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot! So excited!!!!
Just keep dreaming,