In Which Mangoes and Cream Make a Dreamy Dessert…

Dessert looks creamy enough...

Dessert looks creamy enough…

In the southern United States, peaches and cream are seen as the very epitome of an indulgent summer dessert and I can’t blame them: it’s one of those classic combinations that works without fail.  The soft, rounded, bordering on floral taste of sun-ripened peaches is tempered and made dreamy by the addition of billowy clouds of whipped cream.  Ambrosial, even.

Here in Southeast Asia, however, the concept of having fresh peaches to go with a dish of cream is virtually nonexistent, for the basic reason that peaches don’t grow here and most people have only ever had tinned peaches – and usually the kind in very thick, heavy sugar syrup, to boot.  But if peaches are sorely unavailable in this part of the world, we have a substitute that – in the collective opinion of people throughout the Southeast Asian region – actually is much better than those golden orbs: mangoes.

We are still in the thick of mango season here in the Philippines and, while we really would rather eat them fresh at the peak, these fleshy golden fruits also lend themselves well to being sliced for creamy, dreamy desserts.  Case in point: the mango float.

Fruit, cream, and graham crackers.  What more would you want?

Fruit, cream, and graham crackers. What more would you want?

A mango float is a dessert of the refrigerator-cake variety: a no-cook, trifle-style thing made by layering sliced mangoes with sweetened whipped cream on a Graham cracker crumb crust. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

It is easy enough to make at home; Lord knows that virtually every middle-class Filipino family has its own version of it.  At my own house, however, we prefer to whisk egg yolks into the whipped cream to turn it into custard and we freeze the end-result for something more akin to ice cream rather than trifle.  (We call it a Mango Supreme and it’s more of a semifreddo, really.)

But with everyone busy right now, it’s nice to know that you can get a decent mango float for P 58.00 at your local MiniStop.  Surprisingly good, it has more crumbs and cream than fruit, but it has enough mango chunks to keep any mango junkie happy.  😀