Handmade Mango Ice Cream in an Indian Summer
The highlight of my school holidays, and my entry to Vocal’s Summer Camp Competition
The first day of school holidays has a special place in my heart.
The day usually starts with an exam and ended with an end of the year party. And then even better, I would come back home, draw the curtains against the blinding afternoon sun and then lie down and read my favourite novel.
The only other favourite part of my holidays was when my mother made mango ice cream at home. A process that usually took several days in an era where even the concept of an ice cream machine was unheard of.
Ice cream made from Alphonso mangoes. Not the variety you get here in Australia — Kensington Pride, Calypso and Honey Gold, they all taste more like peach. But the sweetest purest mango you will ever find in the world. The kind of mango which will shoot your blood sugar to crazy highs, and you would only be grateful about it.
Mangoes are what made the blistering Indian summers worth it. You would also find watermelon and grapes, but there was just no beating mangoes.
Growing up in 90’s India, home made ice cream was an unheard of luxury. But my mother made the smoothest, creamiest mango ice cream with only three ingredients.
The process started thus:
First my father would take me and my sister to a warehouse where mangoes were sold by the crates. You would rarely find mangoes being sold in ones of twos. They were always sold in a wooden crate, stuffed full of straws, while the mangoes were still young; the straw helping the mango mature at a slow rate.
Then we would pick out the ripe ones, taking care that the mangoes were not riddled with tiny white worms, which tended to jump out at you.
It was then our job to wash, slice and scoop out the pulp for mother. Who would then puree the fresh pulp in a tall mixer, a staple in modern Indian households back then.
Then she would add equal part and a half of fresh milk. Not just any old milk, but creamy buffalo milk. The kind of milk the milkman usually watered down but would still yield a thick layer of cream when boiled.