Growing up, mango was my favourite ice cream flavour, especially as it was an occasional treat at some restaurants. At home I would acquiesce to strawberry.
This mango ice cream is rather different from the one I used to love, infusing the base with cardamom and lemongrass. It’s not an intensely mango ice cream to avoid overwhelming the other flavours – rather it comes across creamy and fragrant, with a gentle layering of fruit for brightness.
I’ve used the combination of cardamom and lemongrass before, and here I love it paired with the mango. I think of cardamom and lemongrass as both “citrus analogues”, or in other words citrus-y flavours without the acidity of citrus. Together they make for a soothingly smooth ice cream in both texture and taste.
Curiously, this ice cream also stayed quite soft for a homemade ice cream despite the low sugar content. I wonder if it’s related to the mango puree in terms of it’s sweetness or fibre as I have noticed that frozen mango chunks are quite chewable. This ice cream can be scooped almost right away with a scoop dipped in hot water and some arms muscles, or will need about 10-15 minutes on the counter to soften.
mango cardamom lemongrass ice cream
Makes around 1 2/3 cups of ice cream base.
- ½ stalk lemongrass
- A heaping ½ tsp of green cardamom pods (about 5 medium)
- 160g heavy cream
- 100g whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar, or more to taste (I’ve also used about 45g sweetened condensed milk instead)
- 160g mango puree (from about 1 ½ ataulfo mangoes)
Cut the lemongrass in half length wise and then into short lengths. To help release some of its flavour, I bend the pieces in multiple places along their length so that some of the stalk starts to break and the pieces become fragrant. Crack the green cardamom pods using the heel of your hand. Warm the cream until steaming. Add the lemongrass and cardamom, cover, and set aside to steep. Let steep on the counter until it comes to room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill and steep further overnight.
The next day, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and sugar in a glass bowl. Set the bowl of a pot of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until it reaches at least 160F or it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line drawn. Transfer the custard to a container. Strain the cream and add to the custard.
Combine with the mango puree and taste for sweetness – 2 tbsp was sufficient for my ice cream base to have a mild sweetness without being noticeably sweet, but add more as per your preference.
Churn according to your ice cream machine protocol.
Update notes: photographs updated March 2021.