My dream home would have an enormous kitchen well-stocked with every gadget, a self-growing garden, and bookshelves on every available square foot of wall space. I love books. Not just cookbooks, but fiction, fact, and in between. As a homeschooler I buy books like 101 Fun Science Experiments You Can Do at Home With Aluminum Foil and Peanut Butter and The Rise and Fall of Mesopotamia. As a fiction reader, I devour mysteries. And as a baker I have a hard time restraining myself when it comes to any cookbook with wonderful pictures.
I have a special fondness for good children's books and one of my childhood favorites that I read and reread till the corners got dog-eared was the classic, Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. It's a charming story about 2 girls who get stranded on a desert island with a boatload of babies. It's the perfect read for any pre-teen girl who's in the "Awwww, a baby!" phase.
One of the things that mystified me in the book was the mention of breadfruit. What was this? According to the book it grew on trees, but was it shaped like a loaf of bread? Did it taste like bread? Did the flowers emit the seductive smell of fresh-baked bread? I never knew the answer until my husband and I were on a vacation in Maui. Walking around, soaking up the sights, I fairly shrieked aloud when I read a historical marker plaque telling that the gigantic tree there was a breadfruit tree. I picked up one of the fruit and had my picture taken with it, so pleased was I to finally meet a breadfruit.
Another fruit I had read about but never tasted was mango. I know, a collective gasp of astonishment goes up. I'm aware that it's probably the most popular fruit in the world, but in the desert climate I grew up in, there weren't a lot of mango groves. It wasn't until recently that I tried a mango. After all I'd heard about mangoes, I expected a lot, but wasn't immediately sold. It's a strong flavor that takes a bit of getting used to. In fact, in researching, I found that there is a small amount of naturally occuring kerosene in mangoes, some varieties more than others. Now kerosene is not an item I stock in my spice cupboard. So it was only because I was on a Perfect Scoop roll that I plucked up two mangoes at the market and whipped up this sorbet.
It went together really easily, and I think if you like mangoes you'd love this sorbet. David Lebovitz suggests pairing it with raspberry sherbet and I think I'd enjoy it more with something to cut the intensity of the flavor. My family had texture issues with it. Maybe it was the mangos I used, but there was a certain stringy, pulpy consistency to it. Anyway, this is my offering for Alpineberry's Tropical Paradise Sugar High Friday. For me a mango is the second best way to say "tropical." My grocery store doesn't carry breadfruit.
- adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
2 large, ripe mangoes (about 2 pounds or 1 kg)
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) water
4 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp dark rum
Pinch of salt
Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the pit. Cut the flesh into chunks and throw them in a blender with the sugar, water, lime juice, rum, and salt. Squeeze the mango pits hard over the blender to extract as much of the pulp and juice as possible. They're slippery at this point, so be wary of mango-pit missiles!
Puree the mixture until smooth. Taste, then add more lime juice or rum, if desired. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve with coconut sprinkled on top for an extra taste of paradise, or with a raspberry sauce.