I love chocolate ice cream just as much as the next person, but sometimes deviating from the culinary norm is a good thing. And even though the helado de mango (mango ice cream) would have been better on a hot summer’s day, not a somewhat chilly October one, asi es la vida (the Spanish equivalent of c’est la vie). I was ruminating a possible quick dessert to make last Friday and came across the recipe for this fruity ice cream. I don’t own an ice cream maker and have attempted to make ice cream only a smattering of times. But I figured that if the supermarket had on hand a couple of ripe mangoes, I figured it was worth trying (so often the mangoes they have don’t feel like they’ll be ripe for weeks). And thankfully enough, they did.
While I rarely eat them, mangoes will always hold a special place in my heart. My Costa Rican host dad wasn’t well when I was living there. I was never told what exactly had happened to him but his speech was very slurred, he had slow mobility, and my host mom had to cook him a very bland diet for every meal, not that he ate too much to begin with. Fruit was always offered after dinner and while I alternated with my selections, my host dad would always have a mango. And even now, almost a decade later, I can still hear my host dad asking me in his sweet and soft-spoken voice, ¿quieres mango? (do you want a mango?).
Helado de Mango (Mango Ice Cream)
Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking
1 1/2 cups water
4-6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
-Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh off the seeds. Puree the flesh in a food processor or blender. You should have about 2 cups puree.
-In a heavy medium saucepan over high heat, combine the water, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, and the condensed milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the mango puree and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Taste and add more sugar and lime juice, if desired.
-Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
NOTE: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to a medium metal bowl. Cover and freeze, scrapping occasionally with a fork or whisking to break up the ice crystals, for 2 hours, or until solid. This is what I did and it came out great. You will need to allow more than two hours for the ice cream to freeze if you are not using an ice cream maker (as was my experience).