Related to cashews and pistachios, mangoes used to be an etymological nightmare. They are native fruit of India, Burma, Pakistan and Bangladesh – in fact, they are the national tree of Bangladesh, and have been cultivated in that region for some 4,000 years. It took until the 1500s for a European to find one, and another 300 years for them to reach America – Santa Barbara 1880 is thought to be the first cultivation of American mangoes.
Once in the US, their shelf life was so woefully short that they needed to be pickled. The Americans, because they are a simple folk, called everything they pickled ‘mangoes.’ Then it became a verb ‘to mango,’ meaning to pickle. Merriam-Webster still lists ‘bell peppers’ as a meaning for mango, as these were the most popular thing to ‘mango.’
There is no history lesson for the recipe here. This is my own version of mango ice cream that uses my usual Nick Nairn ice cream recipe and adds a mango puree to it. Mangoes are sweet enough not to need any additional sugar over and above that in the ice cream base.
This basic idea can be used for any fruit. Passing the fruit is essential to remove seeds. Very tart fruit needs a bit of sugar adding to the puree.
Mango ice cream
- 4 mangoes, peeled, stoned and passed through a sieve
- 300ml full fat milk
- 300ml double cream
- 30g liquid glucose
- 5 egg yolks
- 90 g caster sugar
Put the milk and cream in a pan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the glucose. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale (use a stand mixer).
Reheat cream a little (just to make it flow, but not enough to scramble the eggs) and add it to the bowl with the eggs while whisking (just run the stand mixer and slowly put the cream in).
Scrape mixture back into the pan and heat slowly to 82˚C (use a thermometer) to thicken to coating consistency – do not boil or it will split). Strain to remove lumps and cool with some cling wrap on the surface to prevent skinning.
Add the fruit, churn the ice-cream in a machine, transfer to a plastic carton and freeze.
If your volume of pureed mango is high, then this recipe can be light on sugar. Add simple syrup by degrees to the puree to sweeten it before mixing with the custard.