Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Hate Ice Cream.

There, do I have your attention now?

Ok, so it's not entirely true. It's not ice cream itself that I hate; it's the recipes that annoy me. Or, more specifically, the need for extra, unwieldy equipment that I don't have. I've lost count of the number of interesting flavours I've come across, only to be foiled by that last accursed step: "Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions." Argh! Couldn't you have told me that, I don't know, before I carefully reviewed the ingredients list and examined the other steps to ensure they were feasible. Or before I visualized spending a hot summer afternoon cooling off by having delicious ice cream and drinks while lounging on the roof of my building?

Yes, Falko, I'm talking to you. Why must you taunt me so with your divine-looking experiments? Your obsession is a bane to my culinary existence. I will be coming to your door soon, and you will rue the years of twarted anticipation you have caused me! Do you hear me? RUUUUUUE!

For all {Humans} \ {Falko}, this dear friend of mine is a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, and you should give serious thought to reading all his contributions. But I warn you: get an ice cream maker first. Otherwise, you'll be prone to outbursts like the above.

Ok, rant over. The reason I bring up this subject is -- as a result of somebody's quests into ice cream creation -- I have long wanted to find homemade ice cream alternatives that don't require any special equipment. Unfortunately, a lot of scoopable/hand-held frozen desserts are lost if you can neither a) churn the mixture, nor b) mold it. The good news is that the weather in Chicago is finally warming up -- for instance, the net increase in temperature this past week has been around 40 degrees (50 degrees 3 days ago, 90 degrees today). That isn't great in and of itself, but it does mean that the various foodie magazines I read have adopted a focus on cool desserts.

Like this one from Bon Appettit, a Mango-Chile Ice. The ingredient list caught my eye immediately; there are so few, yet each offers a distinctly noticeable influence on the finished dish: ripe mangoes for their fruity sweetness, lime for the acidic citrus tang, topped with red pepper to give it a memorable afterburn. In fact, I happily added a lot more lime zest and red pepper than was called for, and I never regretted it for an instant. The preparation time sucks, though: you have to crush and refreeze it three times, and be sure not to forget it in the freezer, lest you have to deal with a solid plate of ice, rather than gradually hardening slush. More research is definitely required on that front. But the taste of this dessert is the perfect thing for the soon-to-be sweltering summer days: cool and refreshing, with a bite that will keep your attention.

Mango-Chile Ice
  • 6 large mangoes (about 5,1/3 lb) halved, pitted, peeled, diced (about 7,1/2 cups)
  • 1,3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chile powder, plus more for serving
Set a strainer in a 13*9*2-inch glass baking dish. Combine half of all ingredients with 5 Tbsp water in a processor and purée until smooth. Strain mango mixture into dish. Repeat for second half of ingredients. Freeze until mixture is slushy, about 2 hours.

Working in 2 batches, purée in processor again. Return mango ice to same dish. Freeze 2 hours.

Repeat 2 more times.

Serving suggestions: let stand at room temperature for 20min. Scoop into dishes, sprinkle with chile powder, and serve.


Max Falkowitz said...


That ice looks, if I may be completely honest, totally bitchin'. And it's a great procedure you used.

I'm sorry to have caused you any pain; here are some recipes I've used that don't require a machine:

Matcha ice cream

Prosecco, lemon, and ginger granita

From my brilliant recipe partner: avocado and passionfruit sorbet

And another SE contributor on a hack to make creamy ice cream without a machine

But if you're making desserts as good as your recipe without a machine, I don't know if you'll even need one.

Moxie said...



Dylan said...

Set theory notation in a dessert post! Joy!

Spuds said...

@Dylan: Just for you, of course. Ok, not really. We think this way more often than not. An English major tries to make a joke with n+1 notation, and I think the humor is just a statement of fact.

@Moxie: I was going to correct that, but now I think I'll leave it in. I was tragically twarted by the devious recipes.

@Max: Thanks, I'll definitely have try those! You're not off the hook, though! Absolution will have to come from something more... material :P