I don’t have an ice cream machine. Believe me I would like one, but sadly there is no space in either the freezer for a bowl or on the counter for an all singing, all dancing machine.
Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, that much. I mean, you have to really like ice cream in order to warrant spending so much money on a counter top machine. And I don’t like ice cream that much.
However, at this time of year the internet is awash with recipe after recipe for ice cream. And some of them look and sound so delicious. I just want to make them all. But in reality I will probably eat one scoop and then forget all about them.
But that doesn’t stop the yearning for a bit of dangerous will-it-split-will-it-not custard action. There are some no-churn ice cream recipes doing the rounds, which involve condensed milk, but I have yet to try those.
I was over at The Patterned Plate not so long ago, talking to Caroline about mangos. She had posted a recipe for mango & passionfruit sorbet that looked divine. I mentioned that I had some honey mango puree languishing in the freezer, left over from when I bought a whole box of them in my local Asian supermarket, and she suggested that I use them for either said sorbet or her mango ice cream. After a little investigating, the ice cream won me over.
I knew it was going to be a little bit of a challenge, as I am sans ice cream machine of any sort, but after two attempts I managed it.
Attempt number one was pretty much a copy of the recipe line for line. All I did was use slightly less sugar as honey mangos are incredibly sweet. I mixed it all together and placed it in the freezer. An hour later I entered the garage, armed with a fork and attacked the slowly freezing ice cream with gusto, doing my best to break up the large ice crystals that were forming. I repeated this action 5 further times. Yes. 5.
Sadly it was still incredibly grainy. Once the water crystals (which are courtesy of the coconut milk) melted in my mouth, the remaining ice cream was very creamy, but you had to get past the ice first. Which spoilt it slightly.
Having read a few recipes for vegan ice cream, which used coconut milk as a base, I remembered the answer to the ice crystal problem – vodka.
No, not to drink so that you don’t realise there are large ice crystals in your ice cream.
Alcohol doesn’t freeze. The key to vegan ice cream is to add a little vodka (usually chosen because it doesn’t taste of anything) as it stops large ice crystals from forming.
I had a plan. Somewhere at the back of the cupboard was a bottle of mango vodka no less. Perfect.
I also made one other change. A hand welded fork is not sufficient when dealing with ice cream. Granita, yes, but not ice cream. It needs to be transferred to a food processor and blitzed during the freezing process. Only a couple of times you’ll be pleased to know, not 5.
If you are lucky enough to have an ice cream machine, then you will not need to add the vodka, but for those of us not so fortunate, it is essential. Plain vodka can of course be used instead of the mango variety.
Now, what flavour shall I make next?
Mango & Coconut Ice Cream
- 3 cups mango, ripe and cut into chunks
- 400ml full fat coconut milk
- 125ml cream
- 50g – 150g sugar
- lime juice, to taste
- 2 tbsp mango vodka, or plain vodka (not needed if using an ice cream machine)
- Blitz the mango with a third of the sugar in a food processor, until it forms a puree. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. The amount needed will depend on your mangos and remember that frozen things do not taste as sweet, so if it tastes too sweet now the chances are that it will be perfect when frozen.
- Add the coconut milk, cream, a squeeze of lime and the vodka. Mix to combine.
- Taste the mixture and add a little more lime if needed or sugar.
- Transfer to a freezer safe container (or ice cream machine, if using) and place in the freezer for an hour. After that time remove it and scoop back into the food processor. Blitz for a couple of minutes, until smooth. Return to the container and put back in the freezer.
- After another hour, repeat the blitzing again.
- Leave to freeze completely before serving.
NB – if using an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into the machine and follow the instructions until it has thickened. Then transfer to the freezer.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014