Mango float. If you’re not familiar with this dessert, no doubt what comes to mind is some form of root beer float. But no, this magical Filipino dessert involves mangoes floating upon a delicate bed of graham crackers and whipped cream. Mm!
This was one of those dishes that, as soon as I tasted it, I immediately knew I needed the recipe.
I first tasted it last May, after my husband Sean and I traveled from our home in Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul, where he grew up. We were planning to move away from Chicago at the end of the month, so we took the opportunity to see as many members of Sean’s extended family as possible while we still lived in the Midwest. That included seeing cousins I had never met–and some he hadn’t seen in twenty years.
We spent one Sunday afternoon with Sean’s aunt and cousins. His cousin’s fiancee prepared the most elaborate and delicious feast I have ever eaten at someone’s home. She began treating us to the most amazing appetizers–from her native Filipino cuisine– as soon as we arrived. When she served lunch, the dishes filled the table– several salads, rice, main dishes with chicken and beef, and an out-of-this-world dessert called Mango Float.
Since then, whenever I’ve eaten a mango, I’ve thought about that afternoon. The flavor brings to mind not just the dessert but the whole afternoon spent catching up with Sean’s aunt and meeting his cousins. It is always a reminder of the good conversations that can result from reconnecting with family.
I recently made Mango Float for the first time, now that Wolff’s is getting mangoes again this time of year. It’s a very easy dessert, and a good one for sneaking in a little bit of healthy fruit. You can even make your own sweetened condensed milk with organic sugar to reduce the sugar content.
- 3 large ripe mangoes, pitted, peeled and sliced thin
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 - 1½ packs graham crackers
- In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream to make whipped cream. Add condensed milk and vanilla and mix well.
- Add a layers of graham cracker on the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass pan. (Keep them in big pieces as much as possible, but add enough pieces so you can get fill the pan in a single layer. You might need to cut the graham crackers with scissors to do this. It's okay if this results in crumbs--you'll use those for the topping.)
- Pour ⅓ of the cream mixture over the crackers. Spread evenly with a spatula.
- Top with mango slices, and then with graham crackers, cream, and mangoes. Repeat one more time so you have three layers total, with mangoes at the top. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
- Freeze for 8 hours or overnight to set completely before serving.