Delia Smith's Winter Collection
APRIL 27 2012

You probably think you got the best of me, don't you, April. Getting all hot and sunny last weekend and twisting my thoughts until I truly believed summer was here and rainy days were behind us. I got caught up in your little mind game and though, "hey, I think I'll make ice cream!" Okay, you got me.

But, you know what? The ice cream is actually really damn good. And your 2012 appearance has just about ended. So suck on that while we slurp down yummy, fruity homemade ice cream. Yes! I win!

Having never made ice cream before and not actually owning a proper ice cream maker, I had concerns about this little project. I knew the flavor would be there, but what about the texture and consistency of my final dessert. Would it just end up in one big block or be more like a granita? Only one way to find out.

And finding out starts with limes, lots of limes. The recipe does not include the zest, but I chose to save it before juicing them and used it to make a fruity, floral lime salt (great for the rim of a gin and tonic, I must say). The juice, however, was 1/4 of the ingredients in this super simple ice cream.

super ripe mangoes

Once my simple syrup was simmering, I juiced the limes then turned my attention to the mangoes. I had picked out the softest, most wrinkly fruits and they felt heavy with sweet, ripe flesh. My immediate realization was that using a spoon to "scrape all the flesh away from the skin" did not really work and switched to my tried-and-true method which leaves only the thinnest windowpane of mango skin for the trash. 

the best way to skin a mango

Now to liquidize the mango flesh in my handy-dandy liquidizer (i.e. food processor) until silky smooth. Hmm, appears my de-fleshing method is superior to that of Delia's because I ended up with about 1-1/3 pints mango puree (point : me!). I'll just save that for a fruity drink of some sort so I don't throw off the proportions.

creme fraiche swirling into the lime-laced mango puree

Now just nestle into the freezer between the hamburger buns and chicken guts (for stock, I swear!) to slowly freeze. After 2 hours, it's barely more solid than when I put it in, so I give it another hour before stirring. Now it's starting to set and I gently whisk it up and return it to the freezer.

starting to freeze!

But, a lovely Friday evening distracts me from the second stirring and then I don't even come back to look at my final product for about four days. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out just fine! It's a lovely golden color and, while a bit grainy, still scoops easily. My taste buds are immediately assaulted by the rich, floral mango followed quickly by a limey citrus bite. Then it all dissolves into a soft, creamy creme fraiche finale, leaving a tender, milky coating on your tongue. Very, very nice.

no puppy! you can't have any of my ice cream!

"but you dropped a little... can't I just help with the clean-up?"


Makes 2 pints

This is a beautiful ice cream, but it's most important that the mangoes are extremely ripe - almost bordering on over-ripe. The way to test this is to hold one and check that it feels heavy when held in the hand and also gives off a powerful and fragrant aroma through the skin. If you can only buy under-ripe mangoes, they should be placed in a brown paper bag and left to ripen in the dark at room temperature.

3 - 4 limes, to yield 4 fl oz juice
3 large, extremely ripe mangoes
4 oz granulated sugar

200 ml tub creme fraiche


First dissolve the sugar in 5 fl oz water over a low heat until all the grains of sugar have disappeared, then turn the heat up a little bit and simmer gently for 15 minutes, without allowing the liquid to evaporate. Then remove it from the heat and leave on one side for it to cool slightly.

To prepare the mangoes, slice them in half along the length of the stone on either side of it (and have a plate underneath to catch all of the precious juice). Now use a spoon to scrape all the flesh away from the skin, then place this into a liquidizer. Next, using a sharp paring knife, remove the skin from the flesh around the stone then scrape all the flesh from this into the liquidizer, leaving the stone and any fibrous threads behind. Now liquidize the mangoes until you have a smooth puree. If you don't have a liquidizer or processor, place a plastic sieve over a bowl and push the flesh of the fruit through. Either way, this should yield about 1 pint (570 ml) puree. Then add the lime juice and the sugar syrup and combine thoroughly.

Next spoon out the creme fraiche into another bowl and whip it lightly till it increases in volume and thickness. Now use a metal spoon to fold the fruit puree into the creme fraiche, and place the mixture in the plastic box and place it in the coldest part of the freezer for about 2 hours or until it is beginning to freeze around the edges. Then, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the frozen edges into the middle, replace the lid and return it to the freezer for another 2-3 hours, then repeat the whole process. After that, freeze again until it is quite frozen. Before serving, place the box in the main body of the fridge for about 1 hour. If you have an ice-cream maker, freeze-churn according to the maker's instructions.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.

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