There’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a 5 year old when you are looking for an opinion on something. Over the years my nephew’s passionately enthusiastic or wildly disgusted reactions have been a keen influence on my creative experiments, mostly of the baked variety. Not all of these have ended favourably: I’ve frequently had to humbly accept many “yuck!” and “bleugh!” comments as constructive feedback and defeatedly head back to the drawing board. Trying to step into his colourful mind for my next trial, I concluded that three things were more likely to win him over: it needed to be sweet, brightly coloured, and a bonus if it could be extra messy.
Although Irish summers are likely to have you craving warm apple crumble as much as a refreshing sorbet, it only seemed appropriate that I choose something seasonal. I had also recently returned from a trip to Sri Lanka and was finding myself having withdrawal symptoms from the sudden end to my daily supply of mangos and exotic fruit, so was looking to attempt something with a bit more of a tropical vibe. Most 5 year olds would probably consider themselves icecream connoisseurs and so that seemed like an obvious challenge (although it was technically a sorbet, but he doesn’t need to know that!)
Bright pink and melty, the finished product certainly ticked off two of my criteria. Finding a sorbet that was sweet enough to satisfy a 5 year old’s palate but wasn’t completely saturated in sugar was a little harder. I found with most of the recipes I browsed through that less than half of the suggested sugar quantities were needed if you had enough fruit to make up the flavour. Keeping with my tropical theme I used mangos and raspberries, with a hint of coconut to really amplify the holiday vibe. Buying your fruit from the packed aisles of Aldi in Rathmines doesn’t have quite the same thrill of selecting them from a beachside stall in Sri Lanka, but the delicious fruity flavour still had the same effect and my littlest critic gave it a big thumbs up (before delightedly burying his face in it).
This recipe is really easy to whip up in a blender or smoothie maker and doesn’t need an icecream maker, although that might speed the process up a little. I enjoyed it so much I ended up eating a lot of it straight from the blender before guiltily packing it into a freezer box. Unfortunately my cover was blown later when it was revealed that I still had pink smeared all around my mouth. Oh well, quality control is an important part of the job! I’ve kept the quantities for the recipe quite general depending on how much more of a raspberry or mango flavour you’re looking for, and also how much of a sweet-tooth you have! The best way is to taste as you blend, adusting the quantities depending on your palate. Either way if you’re after something fruity, refreshing and perfectly sweet that tastes like summer on a spoon I definitely recommend you give this a try, you’ll be lucky if it even makes it into the freezer!
Mango & Raspberry Sorbet
3 - 4 cups (about 500g) frozen mango pieces *
1- 2 cups (about 150g) frozen raspberries
½ can full fat coconut milk (200ml)
¼ - ½ cup (50 - 100g) granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of half a lime
Pinch of sea salt
Small handful of finely chopped mint leaves (optional)
1. Add all the ingredients to blender and mix until creamy and smooth.
2. Adjust the flavours (add more sugar, coconut milk, fruit) as needed.
3. Transfer to either an ice-cream maker and churn for 30-40 minutes before freezing or else scoop directly into an airtight container and place in the freezer.
4. If you are not using an ice-cream maker, remove the container from the freezer approximately every hour to give it a good stir. Repeat this for about 4-6 hours until you have a nice smooth mixture.
5. Allow to thaw for about 10-15 minutes so that it’s soft before serving.
6. Find an opinionated 5 year-old to give their verdict or else share with a group of adults who will no doubt be delighted to try it out!
7. The sorbet should keep for about 7 – 10 days in the freezer if securely covered.
* Obviously you can use fresh fruit but mangos can be difficult and expensive to come across. At the moment Aldi have a brilliant selection of frozen fruit for great value, and makes the process even easier as the mango is already chopped for you!