My mother is from a pacific island called Saipan. It is just a few moments away from Guam and a plane ride from Hawaii. She grew up with coconuts and mangoes growing all around her home and would pick them right from her own backyard to eat. To this day, she gets excited when I bring mangoes to the house, especially the kind she had in her home. My mother was also a lover of hot, hot weather. As you can imagine, she is used to temperatures averaging 90 degrees and up during the summer and can barely tolerate the snow. So during how summer days she would always celebrate with lots of mango. She’d slice up boxes of mango and we would eat them through the night watching movies. Because of this, I’ve also grown to have a special fondness for mangoes.
I love how incredibly juice a nice ripe mango is. You slice on up and the juice runs down your forearm and you rush to lick the sticky, sweet juice before it reaches your elbows. Mangoes are also creamy when they are pureed and that creaminess always reminded me of an ice cream base. Making a sorbet with mango just seemed to be the most natural thing to do with the fruit this summer. This summer I am also growing four types of mint (apple mint, chocolate mint, peppermint, and spearmint), so I was excited to add some as a complementary flavor to the sorbet.
For this mango mint sorbet I used a mixture of apple mint and peppermint, but you can use whatever fresh mint you find at your produce or grocery market. You can also use a pure mint extract if you are unable to get mint in your area. I promise I won’t tell! If you can, I recommend growing mint, or adding it to your herb garden. It is an advanced plant to grow from a seed, but you can find potted mint in many gardening stores and produce markets. I love using it in my water, tea (iced and hot), and it makes a great addition to savory foods as well. (May I recommend my two favorite classic pairings of lamb and mint, and smashed peas and mint?)
My sorbet took on an odd orange/green look ithen I finished churning it because of the mint-infused simple syrup. If this happens to you, don’t worry, the sorbet will take on a nice mangoy orange hue once it’s frozen. The sorbet is nice and scoopable as-is, but if you aren’t serving this to children, I highly recommend adding a splash of vodka into the mixture while it churns just to make it that much easier to scoop later on.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 30 fresh mint leaves*
- 1 cup water, divided
- 4 mangoes, peeled and sliced
- zest of one lemon
- Add the sugar and mint together and light crush the mint into the sugar. I simply rubbed the sugar into the mint with my hands, but you can use a motar and pestle, or even a food processor. Honestly though, you can get good results skipping this step, but I like that extra infusion of mint into the sugar.
- Put the sugar, mint, and half the water in a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is syrupy in texture. Allow to cool and strain out the mint.
- Puree the mango, lemon, and remaining water together. Mix in the simple syrup. Chill the mixture until it is cold and roughly 40 degrees F. Churn according to manufacturer instructions. Pour into an air tight container and freeze until solid, about 3 – 4 hours.
*You can replace the fresh mint with 2 teaspoons mint extract