A couple of weeks ago, I was walking down the street and a mango fell out of the sky right at my feet, a gift from the mango go-go gods.
Unlike Chicken Little, I did not start running around shouting, "The sky is falling!" (although I think it could be pretty darn amusing to see the reactions of the Burmese people around me if I ever were to do this). I did spend a couple of minutes trying to think up a good "It's Raining Men/Mangoes" pun, but I'm not really that punny. The best I could come up with was "It's Raining MANgoes", which I think is a little weak as far as puns go.
What that mango that nearly dropped on my head really did was serve to remind me that mango season was almost over and I had yet to enjoy a single mango. That mango was perfect. It was beautiful. I briefly considered picking it up and diving right in (I basically stick my entire face into my mangoes when I eat them-- how do you eat yours?), but I was in public and propriety held me back.
Instead, I started dreaming up mango recipes and scheming to make the most out of what little was left of mango season. I dreamed up all kinds of mango recipes I wanted to try, but seeing as I don't currently have an oven, I'm limited to what I can prepare on my stovetop. Thus, I present to you mango ice cream and mango lemonade:
Mango Ice Cream
You will need 2/3 cup milk, 2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 egg yolks, and about two mangoes.
Use a food processor to make a chunky puree out of the flesh of the mangoes or, if like me you do not have a food processor, chop the mangoes as finely as you can manage. This step actually took me awhile, but I think that was mostly because every time I pulled off a strip of the mango peel, I would spend a few minutes sucking off any fruit/juice which was stuck to the peel (I can't help myself-- mangoes are some of my favourite things ever).
Over medium heat, bring the milk and cream to an almost boil. You can tell when it is almost about to boil, because it will start to bubble around just the edges. Once it is almost boiling, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
With a fork or whisk (I used a fork mostly because I am much too cheap to buy a whisk when a fork or two will do), mix together the sugar and egg yolks. Keep mixing until the mixture turns pale yellow (at first it will be bright yellow, but if you keep mixing, it will noticeably turn shades and when you drag your fork or whisk through the mixture, it leaves a kind of trail or wake)
Pour the hot milk over the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly as you pour. Return the entire mixture to your saucepan and add the chopped/pureed mangoes. Stirring constantly, preferably with a wooden spoon*, cook over low heat about 15 minutes. The original recipe I adapted this from says you should cook it until the mixture coats the back of your spoon. I have never felt like the mixture adequately coats the back of the spoon (not according to my idea of what "to coat" means, anyway), but if you cook it 15-25 minutes, you should be okay. Just make sure to keep the heat low and to stir non-stop. If the heat is too high or you don't stir it while it cooks, your eggs could curdle, and that's not a good thing. Unless you like your ice cream curdled.
After the custard has cooked for 15-25 minutes, remove it from heat and allow to cool for about an hour, stirring occasionally (now, you're stirring just to prevent a skin from forming on the top and, in this part of the world, to deter those pesky ants who just love sweet sticky things). After it has cooled, transfer it to a shallow metal pan** and place it in the freezer uncovered.
After your ice cream has been in the freezer about two hours, remove it from the freezer and, using a food processor, a hand-mixer, or just regular old muscle power, process it or whip it until it is smooth. Place it in a covered container and return it to the freezer. Keep your fingers crossed that you don't have any power cuts while your ice cream finishes freezing.
*I think you're supposed to use a wooden spoon because metal heats up faster than wood does, so if you use a metal spoon, you run a bigger risk of your custard curdling.
**I think this time you want a metal pan to help the mixture freeze faster and more evenly. I buy disposable Chinese-type takeout pans for this step and they work well.
You will need 1 cup of sugar, 2-5 mangos (depending on the size), and 4-8 lemons (depending on the size and juiciness). Basically, you want enough mangoes to get about 2 1/2 cups of chopped/pureed mango and enough lemons to yield 1 1/2 cups of fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Place all ingredients in a big saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to medium-low and allow it to boil about 3 minutes. Then remove it from the stove and allow it to cool until it's cool enough to touch.
Line a bowl with cheesecloth or a tea towel. Pour your mango mixture into the cheese cloth-lined bowl. Gather up the cheesecloth around the puree in the middle of it, and try to press as much syrup out of the cloth as possible. Try not to allow any big chunks of mango to escape from the cheesecloth.
Transfer the syrup to a jar. When you are ready to enjoy your lemonade, mix all of the syrup with 4 cups of cold water and 4 cups of ice (or fiddle with the syrup:water:ice ratio to suit your preferences) and enjoy!
Sources are important: Both of these recipes are my own adaptations. However, the inspiration and most of the method for the mango ice cream comes from a recipe for coffee ice cream from an ice cream cookbook by Susana Tee, and the inspiration for mango lemonade came from a recipe printed in an issue of Canadian Living (I think it was Canadian Living, but it's possible it was Family Circle or something like that) which I found in a box of old magazines in my g-ma's garage. The original recipe was for strawberry lemonade so if you liked the mango lemonade and wanted more, now you've got it- do the same thing again, except next time use strawberries. Or get creative and use whichever type of fruit you think might mix well with lemons to make a decent lemonade!