Rio Dulce Mango Cheesecake

Collecting the neighbors' leftovers turns into a tasty dessert. "People and Food" for December 2009

Mango Cheese cake 368

Courtesy Of Cathy Goforth

After several months of leisurely cruising from Jamaica to the cays of Belize in Serenade, our Cal 29, it came time to think about a place to leave her for hurricane season. Many of the sailors we met base themselves in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala, so my husband, Bruce, and I found ourselves crossing the bar outside Livingston and motoring up the spectacular rain forest-lined gorge to the lakes inland, beyond the reach of hurricanes. Dotted about the shores of the lake are many small marinas where boats can be left securely while the owners take a break. All too soon we were sung, with a jungle view from the cockpit, being serenaded by the sounds of frogs.

Leaving boats for several months means cleaning out your fridge, and as our boat buddies left, I found myself with a gift of groceries that included two packages of cream cheese and a bag of ripe mangoes. A recipe for pineapple cheesecake came to mind, and with some improvisation and a few more local ingredients, I whipped up a mango cheesecake with thoughts of sharing it with the few other cruisers who were still around us. Alas, it was so delicious, we at the whole thing ourselves!!

Base:

4 ounces butter
1 package plain sweet biscuits
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

2 packages cream cheese
½ (one half) cup condensed milk
½ (one half) cup cream, beaten
1 cup mangoes or pineapple, blended or chopped finely
1 package Jell-O (choose the flavor!)

Melt butter. Crush biscuits finely and combine with cinnamon. Lightly grease a spring-form pan and press crumb crust over the base. Refrigerate while preparing the filling. Dissolve the Jell-O in half the amount of water required on the package and refrigerate to let it partially set. Beat together the cream cheese and condensed milk, then stir in fruit pulp, Jell-O, and cream. Pour onto prepared base and refrigerate until set - about 24 hours.