Even though food scientists have told usthat eating ice cream will not cool you down for more than a few minutes at a time, I am more than willing to take those few minutes of coolness on a hot summer day if it gives me an excuse to eat ice cream. But as I think about it, cream-based desserts/snacks – like ice cream – tend to coat your mouth as you eat, and that’s not exactly a welcome thing if you’re already parched. So, I’m using the excuse to eat a far more refreshing, fruit-based gelato when the temperature is up.I used mango as my base, since I love the fruit and it’s a flavor that you won’t find just anywhere. Fresh, ripe mango will work well for this recipe, but I actually used some jarred mango (packed in juice) that is carried by Trader Joe’s because the fruit is consistently good and I knew that it would be a good way to ensure that I had enough ripe mango for my puree. I added a bit of lime juice to temper the sweetness of the mango. Lemon or orange juice would work equally well; I happen to like lime/mango combinations.
The resulting gelato is very creamy with a bold, natural, fruity flavor. I didn’t quite feel like I was biting into a ripe mango, as I have felt after eating some top-notch artisanal gelatos, but the flavor was outstanding and head-and-shoulders above most I have tried. I also enjoyed the hint of lime in the mixture. When I work with this recipe in the future, however, I think that I will try some variations, substituting out part of the mango pulp for peaches or berries to get a different take on this.
My final note is that it’s pretty important to have an ice cream maker of some kind to make this recipe. You can pour your chilled mango mixture into a freezer container and stir it around with a fork to break up the ice crystals and freeze it into a scoopable treat over a period of a few hours this way, but you won’t get the same creamy texture that the churning of a machine – electrical or manual – can give you.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cups pureed, ripe mango
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
pinch of salt
Dissolve sugar into boiling water in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in fruit puree, lemon/lime juice and salt. Cover an refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the machine’s directions.
Transfer to a freezer-safe container and chill for 30 minutes before serving.