July 22 is National Mango Day. When my boys came home with a celebratory box of very ripe mangoes, they had to become sorbet. This juicy version is incredibly smooth and refreshing, spiked with Citron vodka. We’ve garnished the treat with skewers of chili-salted fresh mango for a flavor spike like spicing the rim of your margarita glass!
To keep homemade sorbet from crystallizing into a mass of snow-coney ice crumbles, you need only add a splash of alcohol to the base. Matching the lime juice in the recipe, I used Absolut Citron for delicious results, but you can substitute rum for the vodka if you want to add a darker spice note.
My recipe makes 12 cups (6 pints) of sorbet, the amount it takes to reach the fill-line on my Mom’s old hand-cranked ice-cream maker. But you can easily halve the recipe to fit the volume of whatever ice-cream maker you prefer.
The only fiddly part to this recipe is cutting the bright orange flesh from the mangoes. My best method is to slice each washed, unpeeled mango into three lengthwise pieces (leaving the large seed in the middle slice) Cut whatever flesh you can from the seed slice and then discard the seed. Then, with the sharp point of a knife, score the flesh side of the two remaining fleshy pieces into a crosshatch of cubes (like tic-tac-toe.) Next, pop the skin side of each slice upward (turning them inside out) and the cubes will separate, making it easier to slice them into a bowl.
To blend the mango with the other ingredients until very smooth, I used a hand-held immersion blender, but you can also use a blender.
Once you’ve made the sorbet base and done the ice-cream cranking, the sorbet will need to rest in the freezer for a good six hours. The results are well worth the effort.
• 3 cups pure cane sugar
• 3 cups water
• 1 tsp salt
• 9 ripe mangoes, plus 2 for the garnish
• Juice of 9 fresh limes, plus one lime for the garnish
• 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp Absolut Citron vodka
FOR GARNISH: Bamboo skewers, salt, chili powder, cubes cut from two mangos, and
MANGO LIME SORBET
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar and salt, stirring for 3 minutes until completely dissolved. Remove simple syrup from heat and set aside.
Slice each washed but unpeeled mango into three lengthwise pieces (leaving the large seed in the middle slice) Cut whatever flesh you can from the seed slice and discard the seed.
Then, with the sharp point of a knife, score the flesh side of the two remaining fleshy pieces into a crosshatch of cubes (like tic-tac-toe.) Next, pop the skin side of each slice upward (turning them inside out) and the cubes will separate, making them very easy to slice into a bowl. Repeat with all mangos.
Juice nine limes and pour through a strainer into the mango bowl. Add the simple syrup to the mangos and lime juice. Add the vodka.
Blend the mixture until smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to device instructions. Place processed sorbet into the freezer for six hours.
TO MAKE THE MANGO-SKEWERS: Cut flesh from two mangos into cubes. Slide cubes onto skewers, sprinkle with lime juice, salt and chili powder; serve with sorbet.