When it comes to favourites, I’m one of those annoying people who for want of a better a name is a bit of a fence sitter.
Whether I’m asked to name my favourite restaurant, place in the world, or even meal, my usual answer is… “It depends”, which is shortly followed by me rattling off a long list of favourites and the reasons for including each, by the end of which I’m sure the poor person wished they’d never asked!
There are, however, a few exceptions. One being mangos. Mangos would have to be my all time favourite fruit.
Growing up in rural SW New South Wales, far from the lush, steamy tropics of the North, mangos weren’t very plentiful, and in my household were typically an indulgence.
I still remember the first time I ever tried a mango as a child. It’s taste and aroma were so unlike anything I’d ever encountered before that I’ve carried the memory of that first impression with me to this day. Like the scent of freshly cut lawn, or the click-click-clicking sound of a water sprinkler, the pungently sweet and heavy aroma of a perfectly ripe mango acts as a sensual trigger in my mind, inextricably linked to summers past.
While in my own opinion, there’s no better way to eat a ripened mango than freshly cut, slurping its juicy flesh from skin and seed, I occasionally break this habit and add mangos to smoothies, salads, salsas, seafood dishes and desserts. Earlier this week proved to be one of those occasions.
Living in Sydney, mangos are no longer the expensive indulgence of my childhood (especially at this time of year), and last week I splashed out and bought a tray of them. While we made a good dent in numbers, we weren’t able to eat our way through the entire tray and rather than letting them go to waste, I puréed the pulp of the remaining few, some of which was used to make this beautiful Mango semifreddo.
And I have to say, the result was pretty special. Light, creamy and icy cold. Mango Semifreddo. The perfect treat for a sweltering Summer’s day!
- Flesh of 2-3 mangos*
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 cups single cream
- Line an 8 cm x 22 cm rectangular cake tin with cling film and place in the freezer while preparing the semifreddo.
- Using a blender, purée the mango flesh until smooth and set aside.
- Sit a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bottom is not touching the water.
- Add the eggs, extra egg yolks, and sugar to the bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat until the egg mixture turns thick and pale (for about 6-10 minutes).
- Remove the egg mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then fold through the mango purée.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the mixture until it’s well combined.
- Pour into the prepared tin and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
- Makes 2 litres.
- *depending on the size of mangos and desired strength of flavour. For this recipe, I used the pulp of 3 Kensington mangos.