One of our favorite desserts in the Caribbean is homemade ice cream and as a boy growing up on the islands, there was nothing better than the stuff our dad would make in his hand-crank ice cream pail (maker). After a delightful Sunday lunch in the heat of the Caribbean sun, we (brother and sisters.. sometimes visiting cousins) all gathered around my dad as he cranked his way to the perfectly frozen ice cream. He had this down to a science, even knowing how many turns on the handle will produced the perfectly frozen and creamy ice cream.
3 large mangoes (about 2 1/2 cups pulp)
1 can condensed milk (sweetened)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Notes. I pureed about 2 cups of the mango, then chopped the remaining 1/2 cup to give the ice cream some texture. You can also add some shredded coconut flakes to the mixture for an even more coconut presence. The mangoes must be fully ripe for ultimate sweetness and to allow for a smooth puree.
Wash, peel, dice and puree the mangoes. Do remember to leave back about 1/2 cup in chunky bits to give the ice cream some texture and delightful fruity surprises while enjoying this wonderful frozen treat. You can use a blender or potato masher to get the right consistency.
In a large blow, pour in the everything except the mango puree and give it a good whisk or use a hand blender. Then add the pureed and chunky mango pulp and again mix in well. Then place it in the fridge to chill for about 1-2 hrs. It will help the ice cream maker.
Basically all you have to do now is pour the liquid into your ice cream maker and proceed as you would normally do when making ice cream. In my case I have one of those electric makers which is lined with ice and topped with salt (old school) to maintain a consistent temperature.
If you’re using an ice cream maker as I did the key is to listen to the hum of the motor, as it thickens-up you’ll hear a difference (almost struggling) in the motor. However, only you will know how your machine works, so do as you would normally when making ice cream.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can place the liquid in the freezer (in a bowl) and give it a good mix every hour or two until it’s frozen. This will help it achieve a churned texture and not one large frozen block. Speaking about blocks.. as a kid our mom would place any extra ice cream base in ice trays and freeze as cubes. We called those frozen treats….wait… ice blocks!
This is excellent as it is and will have the texture similar to soft-serve. I like my homemade ice cream a bit more firm, so i usually place the ice cream in plastic freezer containers and put them in the freezer for about 1 hour to really stiffen up! Not only does it firm up, but it’s a good way to save some for later!
“This one can go on the restaurant’s menu” Caron mentioned after she had her first serving of this amazing coconut mango ice cream. Whenever a dish really stands out she always add it to our growing list of menu items for the day we open our restaurant.
Homemade ice cream continues to be a traditional desert enjoyed throughout the Caribbean, and I strongly encourage you to get your family involved. Not only is it a recipe you’ll easily get your children involved in making, but you’ll be able to control what goes in it and not feed them the processed stuff from the grocery store.As we used mango, you can use just about any fruit in season.