Summer means mango – the most irresistible of all tropical fruits. The lush, juicy mangoes also make the most delicious ice creams.
One of the simple joys of summer is enjoying this gorgeous fruit, which also beckons memories from back home and my childhood… summers filled with buckets of mangoes soaked in water and the hot afternoons well spent peeling the whole mangoes with our teeth and biting into the sweet juicy flesh, licking every drip and drop of it off our fingers and elbows. We would even compete against each other to how fast we can eat and who can clean up the stone the most – biting, scraping, licking, all was allowed. Another thing we did was split the stone and make a whistle with it – don’t ask me how for I do not remember. In short a Mango Mania! Summer well spent, full bellied and entertained.
Unfortunately the mango season does not last that long here nor do we get so many kinds of mangoes that we did back home. But I am thankful for what we do get – the mangoes are sweet juicy and right now very very affordable. The carton full of ripe mangoes makes our home smell like a tropical island. As you can imagine, we are making the best of it, fulfilling ourselves to make it last till next summer.
When A’s mom was here, we made this ice cream. I was tempted to use cardamom or saffron in the ice cream, but she voted against it and I am so glad that I heeded her suggestion. This was unadulterated bliss, with no other flavors other than that of the the absolutely delicious mangoes.
Ever since we encountered gelato, we fell in love with the creamy but light texture. Gelato does not weigh you down and make you feel like a ten ton sack after you have a dessert. It just melts away easy leaving behind the sweet and the flavor. I do not use heavy cream or eggs in my ice creams.
If you are all for a regular ice cream, use the heavy cream – the recipe does not change. If your heart wants any particular flavor along with the mango feel free to use that too. Cardamom, saffron, chocolate and pistachios pair very well with mango and so does ginger; a bit unusual but I like it.
Mango Ice Cream
- 500 ml half and half or heavy/double cream, chilled or 250 ml half and half + 250 ml heavy/double cream
- 2 cups mango pulp, canned or fresh, chilled
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3/4 cup sugar or as per taste (the amount will differ with the sweetness of the mango)
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional – the alcohol prevents the ice cream from getting rock hard and breaks up crystals)
If you are using fresh mango, puree the scooped out flesh of the mango and strain the pureed pulp to remove the fibers. If you are using canned mango pulp, I would suggest you use the Alphonso Mango Pulp (available in Indian Groceries in Ratna brand). Nothing tastes as good as the alphonso mangoes.
Combine the pulp and the sugar till the sugar is dissolved. Chill in the refrigerator.
Combine half and half, lime juice, pulp & sugar mix, transfer into the ice cream maker and follow instructions of the ice cream maker. Add the vodka towards the end of the process. Let it churn for a minute and switch it off. The Cuisinart Ice Cream maker I have, makes soft serve, so I freeze the ice cream for a few hours more to get the desired texture.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, blend all ingredients. Add the vodka towards the end of the process. blend/whip for a minute and freeze. Every couple of hours break the ice cream up with a hand blender or by cranking your arms(= whip the ice cream till your arms are sore). Do freezing and whipping about 3-4 times to achieve the soft whipped crystal free consistency.