Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

My new toy is still new and exciting, so despite the cold winter weather (hey, 40 degree weather is cold for Florida!), I can’t help but make ice cream again this week. Last week’s ice cream was a bit too rich for my wife’s tastes (but spot on for me!), so I thought I owed her a lighter ice cream more tuned to her liking. I went with her favorite fruit: mango.

Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

With mango as the base flavor, I wanted to dress it up with some other subtle Indian flavors to have a really lively ice cream. So I started with a creamy mango custard and infused it with cardamom and rose water (never used it? It’s just what it sounds like–water flavored with roses, as in flowers!) for sweet, floral flavors that are very harmonious next to the buttery, sweet, almost peachy flavor of fresh mangoes. I like my ice cream to have some additional texture though, so I coarsely sliced another mango, lightly caramelized it, and mixed that in along with some roasted pistachios.

The result was delicious. The ice cream was a bit firmer than the caramelized pear ice cream, but lighter and still delectably creamy, sweet, and most importantly, awesome. It had a very distinct but delicate mango flavor. The cardamom, an ingredient that could risk overwhelming a delicate dish such as this, was surprisingly tame, and combined with the rose water, lent a really interesting floral aroma and aftertaste to the ice cream. The pistachios and slices of caramelized mango were also a nice textural component and a great contrast to the more delicate flavors of the custard.

The first bowl was empty in no time and ready for seconds. The third bowl was proclaimed the best ice cream ever. If this trend continues, well, who knows! You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 3 large mangoes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios

Peel and pit mangos, slice lime

Before you do anything, ensure you give yourself ample time (e.g. you put the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer for at least 24 hours before use). Then, peel two of the mangoes and pit them. Don’t worry about clean cuts or anything–you’re going to puree the flesh, so whatever it looks like can be our little secret. Also slice a lime.

Scald the milk and steep with cardamom Beat the yolks and sugar Temper the yolks with scaled milk, whisk constantly on medium heat

Now let’s get moving on the custard. In a saucepan, scald the whole milk (so like medium heat–don’t boil it!) with the cardamom pods in the mix to give them a chance to steep and infuse their flavors into the milk. While that’s going, beat the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until thicker and well mixed. Off to the side, set up an ice bath (like 1 cup of water will do with some ice cubes) in a large bowl and float a slightly smaller bowl inside. Pour the cream in this bowl and mix in the vanilla extract, rose water, and salt.

Once the milk is done warming up, temper the yolks with a spoonful of the hot milk and keep whisking the yolks. Repeat this and then transfer the now happy yolk mixture into the hot milk saucepan. Put this back on the heat (no warmer than medium) and do not stop stirring. Once the mixture thickens up a little bit and bubbles start to form around the edges, get this off of the heat. Set up a strainer over the ice bathing bowl of cream and pour the hot mixture through the strainer (to catch any scrambled yolks). Stir this all together well.

Puree two of the mangoes

Finally, in a food processor/blender, juice the lime and puree the mangoes finely. You don’t want any fibrous chunks or anything like that (you can use a coarse strainer, but I didn’t bother–mango puree is kind of thick).

Incorporate the pureed mango into the custard

Pour the puree into the custard batter and stir it together. You want a fairly homogenous, creamy mixture.

Custard, well mixed

Things should take on a nice orange color. Fish the cardamom pods out of your strainer and put them in your pristine custard. Seal this (plastic wrap will do fine) and let it sit in the fridge for about 8 hours so all of the flavors can get to know one another well. When you take this out later, don’t forget to remove those cardamom pods! They’re good for flavor but not for chewing straight up.

Shell the roasted pistachios

So while you wait on that, on to the non-custard part of the dish. Begin by shelling the pistachios. For what its worth, I’d consider using more (maybe double) in the next batch of this I whip together. Blitz the pistachios in a food processor to chop them up a little finer, but not down to powder.

Briefly caramelize the third mango

Peel the remaining mango, pit it, and slice clean, long, somewhat thick strips of flesh. Cut these in half so you have good-sized, but still easily bite-sized chunks. In a saucepan, caramelize 1/4 cup of sugar on high heat. Once the sugar has almost completely melted down, carefully place the mango pieces into the caramel (don’t get burned!) and lower the heat to medium. Take this off of the heat within five minutes–the idea is to just soften the mango slices up a bit and to infuse a more complex mango flavor on top of the mango flavor that will be so prevalent in the custard.

Set caramelized mango and crushed pistachio aside in the fridge

Mix the caramelized mango and pistachios together and set this aside in the fridge.

Churn the custard in the ice cream maker

Once 8 hours have passed, assemble your ice cream maker and get it going. Take the custard out of the fridge, fish out the cardamom pods, and pour this into the machine. Let this churn for just shy of 20 minutes. Then add in the caramelized mango/pistachio mixture and let it churn for another minute or two. Transfer this to an airtight container and get it in the freezer for at least 4 hours (ideally more).

Bowl of Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

And finally, the best part is here: scoop out a bowl and enjoy!

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19 Responses to “Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio”

  1. sunita Says:

    Mike, I can imagine how gorgeous that must have tasted…adore mangoes.

  2. Bellini Valli Says:

    This icecream must surelty be named after your wife since it was invented for her. …sounds delicious!

  3. Pam Says:

    I love the idea of the camelized mangoes and pistachios added towards the end.

  4. mike Says:

    sunita — thanks! I (and especially my wife) will be sad when we finish this batch up. Mangoes are very popular in our household.

    Bellini — haha, I’ll have to float that idea by her, but I definitely like the idea (“Dhipthi’s Delight”). Thanks!

    Pam — thanks! I can’t help but incorporate nuts in my desserts, and this was a pairing that really worked well.

  5. steamy kitchen Says:

    wonderful mix of flavors! i’ve been on an ice cream kick lately too – made hazelnut chocolate ice cream the other night. very rich!

    hey, we need more florida bloggers!

  6. mansi Says:

    oh boy Mike! mango ice cream alone would have been amazing, and you add pistachios to it!! that’s brilliant man!:) loved it!

  7. katie Says:

    Now, I’m drooling! I’ve never had homemade ice cream. I hadn’t realized how deprived I’ve been.
    And 40 in Florida, eh? Must email my cousin and rub that in a bit….

  8. mike Says:

    steamy — welcome, Jaden! That sounds like a tasty one as well. I have a list of ice cream flavors to try that’s a mile long, and that’s on it now, too. And agreed about more FL bloggers–then we can have FL food blogger meet ups. If anything, we’d all eat well. 😮

    mansi — desserts need to have nuts! Thanks! :-)

    katie — never? You definitely have to give it a try–you’ll never go back to store-bought. Its easy enough to do and the results are so much better. And yea, been a bit brisk around here lately…not cold enough to snow, but not warm enough to be Florida. We’re in the arm pit of climates right now.

  9. Coffee and Vanilla Says:


    This bowl of ice cream look delicious.
    I love green colour of pistachios on the top… :)


  10. mike Says:

    Coffee — thanks! I’ve been trying to make my food a bit more visually appealing, so I appreciate it :-)

  11. Nina Says:

    I bought a tray of mango’s and your ice-cream recipe has just inspired me to make some for the weekend.

    My first visit to your blog and I love it.

  12. mike Says:

    Nina — welcome and thanks! Hope to see you here again and I hope the ice cream goes well for you. Let me know how it goes!

  13. brilynn Says:

    I miss my ice cream maker! I want some of this right now!

  14. mike Says:

    brilynn — thanks! :) Its definitely become one of my new favorite cooking toys

  15. Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream from Mike's Table Says:

    […] was really amazing and my wife’s new favorite when it comes to ice cream (even supplanting floral mango, the one which she previously declared the best ice cream ever)! The flavor was further complicated by the presence of a small amount of balsamic syrup, which is […]

  16. Deeba Says:

    Have died an gone to heaven after this one! It should go in for ‘Taste of Yellow’at Barbara’s blog for the LiveSTRONG event! Give it a thought…the flavours are smashing good & the colours blissful! GREAT POST Mike!!

  17. mike Says:

    Deeba — thanks! :-) I’ll check into the event.

  18. Mango Nutella Crêpes from Mike's Table Says:

    […] garnished with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, shelled pistachios (they go so great with mango if you didn’t know), some slices of mango (as a reminder that it what you’re about to […]

  19. Honey Mango Pie from Mike's Table Says:

    […] incredible mangoes recently and thought I had to do something with them right away. I’ve done some mango desserts before, and I didn’t want to do more of the everyday kind of mango dishes, so […]

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