This recipe lets you capture the heady scent of mangoes in a refreshing ice cream, perfect for cooling down on a hot day or to inspire a tropical daydream in the depth of winter. Make sure you use really ripe mangoes; you should catch a whiff of their distinctive perfume as you walk through the produce section of the grocery store. Depending on the variety, ripe mangoes can be red, yellow, or green but they should feel heavy for their size and just soft enough to yield slightly when you press them. You can also use frozen or canned mango cubes or purée.
Because mangoes vary widely in size, you should purchase three for this recipe and reserve any leftover cubes for garnish. Similarly, since the tartness of individual mangoes can vary, you might want to taste test and adjust the amount of sugar.
- 2 cups peeled and cubed mango (or 1 1/4 cups prepared purée)
- 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra to taste if needed (use less with pre-sweetened purée)
- 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (to taste)
- 1 3/4 cups half-and-half
- 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
- 2 to 3 tablespoons toasted coconut for garnish (optional)
- Handful of mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the cubed mango with 1/3 cup of sugar. Cover and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. (Skip to Step 4 if you are using prepared purée, thoroughly stirring in the lime juice before you combine it with the sweetened milk mixture.)
The next day, in a saucepan over low to medium-low heat, simmer the mango with the juicy syrup that resulted during the night in the fridge. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then set it aside to cool.
Purée the mango and sugar syrup mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the lime juice and process again. Cover and chill the purée for an hour.
In a large bowl, combine the half-and-half with the coconut milk and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, stirring for as long as necessary to dissolve the sugar. Gently fold in the mango purée. Taste and add more sugar if necessary to achieve the desired sweetness.
Chill the purée in the freezer, stirring it occasionally until it hardens (approximately 6 hours), or use an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. You can enjoy it straight from the machine with a soft-serve texture, or pack it into an airtight container and put it in the freezer for about 2 hours. Let the ice cream soften on the counter for about 15 minutes before you plan to serve it.
Garnish bowls of ice cream with reserved mango cubes, toasted coconut, and mint sprigs, as desired.