I remember the first time my mother made mango pudding. She’d borrowed the recipe from a friend after tasting it somewhere-or-other and (in what appears to be a habit I’ve since inherited from her) made it with little regard to her friend’s careful notes.
She bought mango jelly crystals from the Chinese supermarket in preparation for the task (this was long before regular stores stocked such ‘exotic’ flavours).
A tin of evaporated milk.
A bowl full of ripe, fresh mangoes.
My sister and I sat on the kitchen floor and sucked on the seeds when she was done.
(We also snitched pieces of chopped up mango from her carefully prepared bowlful. She pretended not to notice at first but quickly shooed us away after some time so she would have enough for the recipe).
We waited for it to set.
We waited for the guests to arrive for dinner the next evening.
We waited for the guests to help themselves to a scoop of it.
We sat. And we waited.
Until two little bowls were handed to us, the Bean and I, a scoop of wobbly, creamy, yellow-orange pudding, studded with what seemed like magical cubes of glistening mango.
There are no words to describe how good mango pudding is to a single-digit aged child. None whatsoever.
In time, my mother became somewhat renowned for her mango pudding.
“Can I bring anything to dinner” she would ask, upon receiving an invitation.
“Ah, if it’s no trouble, maybe a dessert?” they would reply.
“I’ll bring mango pudding.”
“Good! My children told me to ask you but I told them not to be so rude. It’s ok if you can’t – anything will do.”
The smell of mango syrup would lure us to the kitchen.
“Can you make an extra? Just a small one? In case it runs out at the party and we don’t get any?”Â the Bean and I would plead.
“Don’t be so greedy” she’d admonish, as she poured the mixture into a large bowl… and then into a smaller one that she had already set aside for us.
I don’t know my mother’s mango pudding recipe yet. It’s hidden away somewhere in a book of handwritten notes and revisions that I haven’t dared look through. I’m sure I’ll find it one day, at which time she’ll likely hand out stern warnings about not putting it on the internet, but won’t be able to make it taste like hers – her measurements are always somewhat approximated. “Agar-agar” as she often says when I ask her how much of an ingredient to add.
This ice-cream comes close though.
It tastes of pure, unadulterated mango (nothing like that awful, sickly sweet stuff often labelled with the fruit’s name on the shelves) but then, a twist. The faint nuttiness of evaporated milk. Cubes of mango, glistening like frozen golden crystals, dotted throughout.
mango pudding ice-cream
makes a little bit too much for my 1.5L ice-cream maker
you will need:
350ml thickened cream
400g chopped mango
1tbsp glucose syrup
250ml evaporated milk
4 egg yolks
how to do it:
1. Place 300g of chopped mango in a blender with the sugar, glucose syrup and evaporated milk. Blend until it is smooth then set aside in the fridge to chill.
2. Heat the thickened cream until it is just below boiling. It will thin out first then small bubbles will form around the edges of the pot.
3. Place the egg yolks in a bowl big enough to hold the cream and muddle the egg yolks a bitÂ with a whisk so they are broken and oozy.
4. Carefully tip 1/3 of the hot cream into the egg yolk bowl, stirring constantly. What weâ€™re doing here is tempering the egg yolks so that they donâ€™t scramble when added back to the pot. You should have a consistently golden yellow liquid at this point.
5. Tip a further 1/3 of the hot cream in and stir to combine. Repeat with the final 1/3 of the cream.
6. Add the egg yolk mix back into the pot and heat over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pouring custard.
7. Cool the custard and add it to the mango mixture. Chill the combined mixture for at least an hour for best results and churn as indicated by your ice-cream maker manufacturer.
8. Just before the mix is finished churning, stir through the remaining mango pieces. Freeze for at least two hours to set. Serve with evaporated milk.