Whether it's a layered dessert or an ice cream drink that floats your boat, there's a mango float treat for all seasons. The layered dessert, especially popular in Filipino households, features thinly sliced mango layers "floating" in thick whipped cream, alternating with crispy graham crackers. Once chilled, the layers meld into a crispy-creamy dessert, which you can modify with spices to suit the flavors of the season. The same holds true with the classic ice cream float. Pureed mango adds a tropical touch to evoke summer, but warming spices can give it a wintertime twist.
Mix 2 parts cream and 1 part condensed milk with a whisk or electric mixer, until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Use traditionally unflavored whipped cream or add a festive holiday touch by sprinkling in a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Peel 2 or 3 mangoes and slice them into thin, uniform slices. Discard the inner pits.
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with graham crackers.
Spread one-third of the cream mixture over the graham crackers.
Set one-third of the mango slices in a flat layer over the cream layer.
Alternate the crackers, cream and mango layers two more times, ending with mango slices on top.
Put a handful of additional graham crackers in a food processor and pulse them to crumbs. Sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon, if you wish. Scatter these crumbs over the surface of the mango float dessert.
Set the dessert in the refrigerator overnight, until all the layers set. Slice it into squares and serve.
Ice Cream Float
Peel and cube a mango, discarding the inner seeds. Puree the mango cubes in a food processor or blender, along with a small amount of sugar and freshly squeezed citrus juice.
Put a scoop of vanilla or mango ice cream in several tall glasses. For a warming winter twist, look for alternative specialty flavors in this frozen treat, such as cinnamon, cardamon or nutmeg ice cream. Next, spoon in some of the mango puree. Repeat the ice cream and mango puree layers again.
Pour your fizzy drink over the fruit and ice cream layers. In the winter, ginger ale adds a spicy touch. For a refreshing version in the warmer months, use sparkling wine or lime-flavored club soda.
Serve the mango floats with straws and spoons.