Cook It! Sago-Mango Custard/ Ice Cream

Sunday, February 20, 2011 Jonette 3 Comments

Back to more appetizing things.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky to find plump, ripe, and delicious-smelling mangoes from the wet market I frequent. I had been meaning to create a mango-flavored version of the sago-cheese custard recipe, and this was pretty much the biggest GO!-signal for me. I took three of these babies home, just to make sure.

This experiment was meant to follow the same steps and ingredients for the original recipe mentioned above. I only had to substitute the grated cheese for pureed mangoes.

It began with slicing the mango cheeks off and spooning the meat into a clean bowl. After making the best of four cheeks, the large meaty mango seeds proved to be an interesting challenge. Tossing the seeds as they were would be just like, well, throwing the baby out with the bath water. I decided to take a more, er, hands-on approach (pardon the pun) and squeezed the fruit off the seeds.

Now, I had a lovely bowlful of mango meat. To make the mango flavor blend into the custard, the recipe would need the fruit pureed. Ideally, this would work best if I had a food processor, but since I didn't, I went for other creative options.

I tried pushing the fruit through my metal sieve. No dice -- it turned out mango juice instead of mango pulp, as the rest of the flavorful meat got stuck between the fine spaces. So, no go.

I next tried going medieval on the bowl of fruit with a spoon, and that proved too slippery. A fork did serve, but it took too much time and too much effort to turn out the texture I wanted. I soon was left with no other choice.

Clean hands. Grab fruit. Squeeeeeeeze the beejezus out of those fruits. Feel the pulp ooze and squelch between your fingers. Go caveman on these mangoes -- with your bare hands. Squeeze them! Squeeze them, I say! Show them fruits no mercy!

The guys from Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time would have been proud.


Now, we have a glorious one-and-a-half cup of absolute pulpy mango goodness! (I am a bit glad it does not taste of me.) 

This time, I substituted the five egg yolks the recipe called for with three whole eggs. The custard might not come out as thick as the sago-cheese batch, but it could yield some interesting results.

One large can of condensed milk? Ready.
One cup of bubble sago? Ready.
One teaspoon vanilla? Ready.
Jimmied-up double boiler? Ready.

Alrighty then.

Just like before, I put in the condensed milk, eggs, and this time mangoes first. What a lovely sunshine pattern this makes. I kept stirring until everything was mixed evenly. I do admit my excitement got the better of me, because I'd forgotten to let it sit and thicken.

Leeeet's just say I was thankful the first three ingredients only filled the pot halfway. That other empty half is going to be verrrry important.

Here we are now with the sago and the vanilla flavoring thrown in. You are probably wondering why the mix seems to have increased. What really happened: 

After adding all the ingredients, I gave this batch a taste test and was perplexed: why was it lacking in flavor? I resorted to adding half a can of condensed milk. Then half a can of evaporated milk. then about three more table spoons of vanilla. By the time I got the taste I wanted, the mix was about an inch-and-a-half in danger of spilling over the pot. Wuuuuunderbar

I lightly upbraided myself to (1) stop getting anxious, (2) calm down and do the dishes to free up kitchen space, and (3) go sit down, and for heavensakes, let the mix be! Fretting over it is not going to make it simmer and thicken any faster. 

So, there. 

In due time, the mix did reduce by about an inch; it pretty much refused to reduce any further and blew a raspberry at me when I pleaded with it. (just kidding.) I let it cool, and divided it into two big tubs.

The first tub vanished to mmm's, aaaah's, and *erp*s among my colleagues, aunts, and friends. Everybody happy! 

The real surprise, however, came as a pleasant accident. 

I had brought a few cups of custard to some of my workmates to ask what they thought about it. Since the mix started getting quite runny and I had to give a lesson in ten minutes, I popped the cups into the pantry freezer. After three hours, I remembered about the cups, got them out, and gave them to my colleagues. They were quite surprised with the new treat, and said it "tasted just like ice cream". Mik even said the sago gave it an interesting texture. Huzzah! 

I tried the same experiment with the remaining tub at home, and James also gave it his thumbs up. He told me how his mom would sometimes make homemade ice cream in pretty much the same way. As for me, new discovery! Huzzah!

Right-o! Now, for next time, I wonder if toasted cashews work with this mix? Hmmm.... 


  1. Hmnnn, I want to try this. I was laughing so hard while reading the first part of this post, even more with the Swedish guy! I think Una will enjoy squeezing the beejesus out of that mango and this mommah will not mind at all.

  2. Ooh, I've never heard of sago custard but it sounds delicious! I'm certainly going to have to try this. And thank you so much for the Swedish link!

  3. @Gene, go for it! since you mentioned baby Una, I think you once mentioned she loves bananas. Why not make it a banana-mango mix? It could be interesting, and I do know a kid's hands make for the best and most enthusiastic fruit mush-ing ever. :D

    @Megan, thanks! I do hope you can find good sago or tapioca pearls in your area. a heads-up: I buy mine pre-cooked from my local wet market, since that does save me a lot of time and gas. I do hope you can find them pre-cooked, or if not, I hope you'll find pearls to cook. boiling them can be a bit tedious, but it'll be worth it. The pearls give the pudding a gummy texture, and turn a bit starchy in pudding-ice cream form.

    Good luck, ladies! Please do let me know how your experiements go. :)


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