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.
Certainly different… though this ice cream does have the similarity of being my current favourite ice cream!
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
- 160g heavy cream
- 80g whole milk
- 2 egg yolks (feel free to use more! I would but I am already drowning in extra egg whites)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar or more to taste
- 160g mango puree (from about 1 ½ ataulfo mangoes) – I did not bother straining the puree, but if you do you’ll probably need more 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 and milk together until it bubbles. 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, strain the cream mixture. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Warm the cream mixture in a saucepan until steaming, then pour into the egg yolks whisking constantly to temper. Transfer back to the saucepan and cook gently over medium, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (be sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pan). Cook until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line drawn, or you can aim for a temperature of 160-170F.
Transfer the custard to a container and chill completely. 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. In my case that means a bit of elbow work!