Archive for August 2009

Mango Ice Cream

August 31, 2009


Over the years it seems like it isn’t a summer family get together unless I have made my family favorite Indian version of ice cream or kulfi. Whatever the occasion, kulfi is traditionally prepared without the custard-base and I love to prepare it particularly during the month of August that happens to be a very special month for us.

The first time I ever tasted mango ice cream was at a restaurant in Windsor, Canada over three decades ago. The ice cream is still vivid in my mind – creamy, smooth texture with the subtle flavor of my favorite spice green cardamom. The following is the taste memory of mine recreated over the years with many flavors I recently prepared for our family get-together in the month of August.

6 green cardamom pods
2 cups heavy cream
1 two-inch-piece thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup granulated sugar or to taste
1/4 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
2 cups chopped mango, pureed and chilled

1) Remove the papery skin from green cardamom pods if needed. Place cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder and grind coarsely or finely according to your texture needs. Set aside.
2) Combine heavy cream (or combination of half-and-half or milk), ginger and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved. Add ground cardamom and saffron and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
3) Remove from the heat and add a generous pinch of salt if desired. Stir to mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool or transfer the spice-infused cream in a clean stainless steel bowl set over ice water bath to expedite the cooling process.
4) Add mango puree (1 cup) to cream and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (I prefer chilling it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours for the best infusion of spices or spice-infused cream). Strain the chilled mango-cream mixture through fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids if any.
5) At this stage I prefer adding about 1/8 cup of cashew flour finely ground with additional sugar. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking pan. Cover and freeze until the mixture starts freezing around the edges. At this stage take it out and try to stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Cover and freeze for about 45 minutes. Repeat the process again after an hour. Cover and keep in the freezer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
6) Before serving garnish individual serving with freshly cubed mango pieces on top or as desired. It is best tasting as soon as it sets like the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

Note: I prefer freezing the ice cream in individual pop sickle moulds or 3 to 4-ounce stainless steel bowls (or katori) and unmold by dipping in hot water for about 25 to 30 seconds just before serving.

Variation: To make custard-based mango ice cream add 2 to 3 egg yolks plus additional sugar if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings.