Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mamey sapote ice cream

I've made mamey ice cream a couple times before, but I tried something a little different this time around.

In earlier ice cream recipes, I've seen a big difference in batches made with raw and cooked fruit. Mango had a particularly profound transformation in flavor making an entirely different ice cream. Cooked recipes with mamey are rarer than with mango, but not entirely unheard of. I've never tried one so I was curious to give it a try.

Here's the sapote I used. According to the guy at the market stand, it's one of the last of the summer mamey crop and a different variety than get in the winter. More fibrous for one thing. No huge difference in flavor though, if I'm remembering right over the months. I didn't get many details from him so if you know something about this, do please share in the comments.

I started by scooping out a couple cups worth of pulp, mashing it up with a half cup of sugar and put it over a low heat to cook. I, thoughtlessly, expected it to break down like mangoes do on the stove-top; I should have known it would have a texture more like sweet potato. It took a lot of attention to keep it cooking without burning, but over ten minutes or so it turned into a paste and developed a bit of a caramelized smell.

I didn't want to risk burning it went out of the pot and into the blender with:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon cream cheese (which seems to help scoopability)
the juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons vanilla, and
a few dashes cinnamon

But it was too thick to blend properly so it definitely needed thinning down. I added another half cup cream, a quarter cup of a tropical juice blend and a couple Tablespoons of agave nectar which does a good job of bringing out fruity flavors along with bolstering the sweetness.Finally, I wanted to add some alcohol to keep it from freezing solid. I'm out of vodka and rum which would have been my first choices, but found that the flavor of dry sake and mamey go really well together. (There's a pretty good cocktail in that combination for those interested in experimenting in that area.) I just added 2 Tablespoons to complete the recipe and gave it a serious blending.

After all that, the mix was still pretty thick, but I was pretty sure I'd added enough alcohol and fructose to keep it from thickening up too much further and my churn's got a relatively powerful motor so I was in good shape as long as I kept an eye on it.

Here it is right out of the churn:

and here it is after ripening in the freezer:

It did freeze up a bit more solid than I would have liked, but it is nearly 50 percent fruit so that's bound to happen.

Despite all the tweaking, the mamey flavor is clear, but in a mellow ice-cream-flavoring way instead of a fruit smoothie in-your-face way. There's an vapory hint of sake in the aftertaste which cuts the starchy throat-coating effect blended mamey can have so that's nice. The texture came out dense, but easily scoopable straight from the freezer (at least from the work freezer which is a bit warmer than my home freezer) and nicely smooth if not exactly creamy (despite all that cream in there). There's no hint of the fibers from the original fruit and just a little of the typical mamey grit.

So did cooking down the mamey make any difference? A bit in the texture I think, but it was a real disappointment that it didn't seem to change the flavor at all. There's probably some interesting bio-chemical reason for that. Non-volatility of the flavor compounds or some such. But the upshot is that this ice cream is pleasant enough, but nothing to get exercised about and a disappointment only so far as the new flavor territory I delved into is indistinguishable from the old.


M @ Betty Crapper said...

I actually made mamey ice cream tonight with the last of the pulp my father in law gave me months ago. Nice coincidence. I owe you many thanks for the initial inspiration since when I emailed you many months ago you suggested using condensed milk.

I made 2 frozen quarts total. I didn't cook it. I used 2 cups cream, 1 can of leche condensada, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons light rum, and maybe a little more than a quart of mamey (I didn't measure it). The frozen texture came out beautifully. I'll let my father in law decide on the taste since I don't care for mamey.

billjac said...

Oh, I forgot I suggested that. I should have used condensed milk too. I hope your ice cream goes over well. I'm not getting a lot of enthusiasm from folks trying mine. It's one of my lesser efforts and I think folks expect better from me by now.

Bruno E. Santos said...

I don't know where you are from but Mamey is a fruit, no need to cook it.
First time ever, I heard someone cooking the Mamey to make ice cream.