I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Give Present For You

Seasonal cooking is one of the things which chefs love, for a myriad of reasons. Things which are in season tend to taste at their best (always a good thing), be in plentiful supply, and of course are much cheaper than they are at other times of the year. One of the other advantages to cooking seasonally is that you are often supporting local Australian economy - better to eat mangoes from Queensland in November than to eat them in May from somewhere in South America.

We've recently been turned onto a new produce store, where one of the fabulous benefits is that load you up with tons of free stuff when you leave. DH came home from said shop with a whole bunch of fruits which we don't normally get. When I laughed at the entire bag of mangoes he came home with, he shrugged and said, "Well, the lady just shoved them at me and said 'I give present for you' so I took 'em and said thanks."

Problem with free stuff is that you get what you pay for - so most of these mangoes were past their eat-by date. Just that little bit too squishy to be nice, but not so squishy that I could not salvage them. So let's consider the facts: a) a big bag o' mangoes, b) summertime, c) ice cream o'clock love and d) I just bought a new stick blender which was begging for a work out.

Voila! Mango Ice Cream, of course. I've never made ice cream other than at culinary school, so I let my fingers do the Googling and I came up with 3 different options. One, a creamy recipe which used only cream. Two, a creamy recipe which used condensed milk (which I love and adore and would eat with a spoon if it was socially acceptable). Finally, a mango sorbet.

In truth, ALL of them were delicious, but they all could have done with more stirring about. The main issue was that we don't own an ice cream maker, so there was rather a lot of having to go and manually whisk every hour or so, for AN ENTIRE DAY. Not your usual "can't be fucked messing with this!" emzee effort. I'd also forgotten how much I hate the whole creamy/fruity thing - I prefer my creamy flavours to be non-fruit based. You know those ice creams which are icy on the outside and vanilla ice cream on the inside? They make me want to HURL. When we go eat gelati, I decide in advance if I'm going fruity or creamy - because the idea of putting a fruit-based gelati on the same cone as a creamy-based gelati is totally horrible.

All that being said, the official verdict was as follows:
#1 (cream only) was the most mango-ish of the whole lot, and had a much richer colour
#2 (cream and condensed milk) had the best texture and best overall flavour
#3 (sorbet) was seriously, firghteningly, utterly fabulous

People, it's time. Go forth and get thee some mangoes. (Preferably for free.) (Or come to my house, there are 2 left.)

In this picture, from top right, clockwise it's sorbet, ice cream #1, ice cream #2

Mango Ice Cream Version One
2 ripe mangoes
1 orange
1 lime
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream, whipped

Peel and slice the mangoes, then whizz up in a blender until pureed. Add in the orange juice, lime juice and sugar. Puree a bit more, then tip into a large bowl. Fold in the whipped cream, pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 45 minutes. Remove from freezer and whisk until smooth. Return to the freezer and whisk again after 20 minutes, then leave in the freezer overnight or until solid.

Mango Ice Cream Version Two
500 ml cream
14 oz can of condensed milk
2-3 mangoes, pureed
Pistachio nuts, chopped (optional)

Beat the cream and condensed milk well. Add the mangoes and nuts (if using) and whisk again. Put in a bowl with a tight lid and freeze. Whick every hour, about 5-6 times and then leave to set 6-8 hours or overnight.

Mango Sorbet
4 mangoes, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup sugar syrup
3 limes, juiced

To make sugar syrup: bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to the boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place everything in a food processor and wizz until purreed. Pleace in an ice cream maker or a bowl with a lid and whisk every hour until your patience wears thin, then allow to freeze overnight.

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