My other half, as you have seen referred to here as "B", has a real and true obsession with fruit. An obsession that I really have never been able to identify with. The more rare, the more that he wants it. He could care less about the mundane apples and bananas, but yet he will go from market to market, across the city, seeking out the special kiwi fruit, mangosteen, Italian plums, fresh mission figs and especially... mangos. We have been squeezing and prodding mangos across Abu Dhabi, purchasing numerous varieties from various continents in the process. We have tasted a spectrum of flavours from sour to sweet and even found one that oddly tasted as an exact replica of the pear flavored JellyBelly.
With B's discovery of a "Top 10 Best Mangos in the World" list (or something to that effect), he managed to narrow his search, prompting us to head out to Abu Dhabi's sea port's fruit market in the heat of a July afternoon. The fruit sellers are mostly born and raised in this lovely heat, so they surprisingly stay open all day, passing the time chatting amongst themselves. Regardless, they were quite thrilled to see us, the Westerners, driving up to a practically empty market as the sun rose to its peak in the sky.
B hops out of the car and squints as the heat hits us like a tidal wave, but it is expected. As we reach the mango sellers, it is clear that even their clothing is drenched in sweat. Their tented stands may shade from the sun, but they really can't avoid the combination of 45C/115F and 30% humidity.
Their mangos are from Pakistan and cannot be found in supermarkets in the city. They sell them only by the case (roughly 20), and they want us to taste. An older, worn-looking, Indian man holds up a half sliced mango in his hand while he searches around, near his feet, for the knife. B, being a bit of a germaphobe (understatement of the year), immediately says "No, no thank you!", and starts digging into one of the cases of mangos checking the quality....no bruises, nothing rotten, but all are very ripe. B asks about the name of the mango and discovers it is one of the top 4, on his "Top 10" list. Just five minutes have passed before B slides his forearm along his brow trying to stop the sweat from dripping into his eyes. We pay the seller, pick up our box and leave with 20 mangos.
Although the box is in the trunk, their fragrance immediately permeates the entire car. At home, we validate their sweetness and melt in your mouth texture. With 18 more mangos to go, I take it upon myself to make Mango Ice Cream and Lime Meltaways...because what is ice cream without cookies?
This ice cream is Philadelphia style which means that it doesn't have any eggs, and uses only the fat from cream. It is very easy, and I absolutely love cream, so this is one of my favourite styles.
The lime meltaways, give a little bit of tang and crunch to complement the smooth sweet ice cream. (I also broke up a few cookies and mixed them directly into my ice cream!)
Mango Ice Cream
2 cups mango puree
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoon cornstarch or 1 tablespoon flour
1 cups cold whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Put a medium sized metal bowl in the freezer, for later. Puree the fruit of about 2 to 3 mangos depending on the size of your fruit. Put the puree in an small pot on the stove top and heat over medium heat, adding in the coconut milk and cornstarch (or flour). Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken (you will see a few large popping bubbles). Remove it from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature. When cool enough, pour the mixture into the metal bowl that you have prepared in the freezer, and put it back in the freezer or the refrigerator, to get very cold, but don't let it freeze yet!
Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla and powdered sugar until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold the cream into the mango mixture and freeze according to your ice cream maker. No ice cream maker? Just put the mixture in the freezer and take it out every 20 minutes to give it a good stir, being sure to mix any parts that have frozen into those that have not yet. Do this about 4 times (if started cold enough), until it is all just a little less frozen than you would like if you were eating it immediately).
Lime Meltaways (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Mix butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix just combined.
Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still very slightly warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.