Posted 28th May 2010 by Jenny McIvor
I may be wrong, but I think there comes a time when maybe you have to kiss goodbye to certain things and consign them to your spent youth. Wearing bubble shorts is one. Sporting wet-look leggings in public is another. Jeggings, ditto. I regretfully accept that none of these three trends have a place in my summer 2010 wardrobe, or will do in any subsequent wardrobe of mine. But is anyone ever too old to eat a lolly pop? Is enjoying a chunk of frozen fruit juice on a blisteringly hot day a pleasure for which there's an age-defined cut-off point, because it's a ritual so closely associated with childhood? My answer would be a defiant ‘no'.
So when the mercury nudged its way towards 80 last Saturday, it seemed entirely weather- and age-appropriate to log on to this site and head straight for this recipe for raspberry and mango melba lollies. As raspberries aren't quite in season yet (not long now, though) I went for the frozen option. But mangoes are most definitely, gloriously are, which is why this week is official National Mango Week. All sorts of varieties are around, all of them gorgeously fragrant, with richly yellow, juicy flesh.
The flesh clings pretty tightly to the fruit's large, flat, central stone, so the first job is to cut it free. Like running in high heels or filling in a tax return, chopping up a mango efficiently is a something of a learned skill. The simplest route is to slice it lengthways, on one side of the stone - you'll be able to feel it to one side of the blade as you slice down. Then do the same on the opposite side, to leave you with two ‘cheeks'. It's hard to use that word in this context and not feel that you've somehow cruelly sliced off the fruit's buttock or one side of its face in some horrific act of Medieval-style brutality. But you haven't, so put those Kingdom of Heaven type imaginings out of your mind and plough on by criss-crossing the flesh cheeks with a knife all the way down to the skin (which is inedible), before pressing the skin back, so that the flesh springs up, hedgehog-style, making it really easy to slice off. Then, finally, trim any excess flesh away from the stone. One of the beautiful things about this particular recipe is that, even if your execution of this slicing technique isn't textbook, it doesn't matter. It's all heading for the food processor anyway, to be blended with peaches and (if you like) a shot of peach schnapps (though I used vodka), then poured into a lolly mould on top of a layer of raspberry pulp. When I put mine in the freezer to set, the moulds weren't entirely level, so the result wasn't quite as slickly Zoom (that old school, three-tier 70s ice cream van treat - don't pretend you don't remember) as I'd hoped. But they still tasted good. This recipe makes six. (Six isn't enough, though. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
But if you think that, like bubble shorts, wet-look leggings and jeggings, lollies are another thing you shouldn't get involved with after a certain point in life, we've got loads of other suggestions for ways in which to put mangoes to work this week. How are you going to use yours?