We’ve had quite the summer here in our little end of the world. It’s been long hot smoky bittersweet days filled with sunshine and adventure; a summer I won’t soon forget for its joyous and not-so-joyous moments.
While we still have a few days of summer left, I thought I’d share this recipe, because our summer wouldn’t have felt complete without a taste of this mango coconut milk ice cream. We spent a few hazy sun-filled evenings making homemade ice-cream; the markets were overflowing with mangoes so we’ve made this ice cream a few times because I feel it embodies the spirit of the season.
Have you ever seen a giant mango tree standing in the middle of a vast land with fruit hanging off long thin stems like Christmas ornaments? It’s such a beautiful sight. I love mangoes and I often wax lyrical about mango trees.
I tell people that if spirit trees (like spirit animals) were a thing, mine would be the mango tree.
I spent my formative years under mango trees, shaded from the sun; and the mango fruit saved me from going to bed hungry some days.
There are no mango trees where I live now, but around this time of year, we get Ataulfo mangoes from Mexico, and I literally gobble them up because they are the closest thing to the mangoes I remember. Incredibly sweet, creamy and tart with smooth buttery flesh, it’s also the perfect base for this mango coconut milk ice cream.
This is an easy and gratifying ice cream to make; it has a few key ingredients, it’s sweet, smooth and tastes like fresh mangoes. It reminds me of this mango sorbet I used to buy at Trader Joe’s.
For that rich velvety ice cream base, you want to use less fibrous mangoes that are ripe and juicy sweet, this would yield a creamy smooth emulsion when blended with coconut milk.
Now, it is not necessary to churn the ice cream; you can pour the mixture straight into a freezable container and freeze for few hours until it solidifies. When ready, let is sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. I choose to churn mine because churning makes it airier and creamier; plus, I have an ice cream maker that needs to be used.
I also add a dash of neutral-flavoured alcohol like vodka to the mixture, this makes the ice cream softer and prevents the water in the ice cream to form ice crystals. I got this tip from the David Lebovitz’s ice cream book, adding a bit of alcohol, especially to fruit based ice cream which tend to have more water content will help keep it soft and easy to scoop. One last recipe note, a pinch of turmeric will deepen the colour, but you don’t have to add it. The ice cream in the photos did not have turmeric in them, the (flesh of the) mangoes I used were a deep orange colour and it gave the ice cream a bright yellow hue when mixed with coconut milk.
I’m looking forward to the mangoes at the market this long weekend. I don’t have plans for the weekend, so perhaps I’ll put my ice cream maker to work again and make one final batch of ice cream for the season and reminisce about the summer that was.
- 5 ripened sweet mangoes, peeled and chopped with pit discarded – (I use Ataulfo mangoes)
- 1 13.5oz (400 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/2 - 1 cup icing sugar (adjust depending on how sweet your mangoes are)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vodka, optional (helps keep ice cream soft)
- Pinch of salt
- Blender or Food Processor
- Ice Cream Maker
- Combine chopped mango, coconut milk, lemon juice, sugar, maple syrup turmeric, cardamom, vanilla extract and salt in a blender or food processor
- Blend on high until you get a smooth puree
- Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight
- Transfer mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze/process according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Pack ice cream into an airtight container and cover and freeze until firm, about 4 hours
- When ready to serve ice cream, let ice cream sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften before serving