Figs are in full swing right now, although our farmer’s market does not get them. There is only one vendor who sells the mission figs but she does not get a whole lot. A friend of mine, gave me a whole bagful of beautiful green figs from her fig tree, that is blooming now, and they tasted much like candy! I have never eaten such sweet figs before in California, I guess I never found good ones before! Figs are such a beautiful looking fruit, with its soft skin and grainy purple interiors, the fruit is quite under-rated in my opinion!
Figs are best enjoyed by itself, or as a topping for a crostini, or figs on greek yogurt with honey and almonds would be such a delicious breakfast or snack! I had all these gorgeous figs and unfortunately no one in my family likes them, so I had to find a way to use up all the figs! I hate throwing away produce! It is such a waste and a completely different topic that I could go on and on for hours. I decided to make fig ice cream and the inspiration for this decadent ice cream came from an appetizer that I love! Fig and Goat cheese crostini with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or honey and walnuts to top it all. Super tangy, creamy, sweet, and crunchy! Such a perfect bite size appetizer! Now if you remove the bread, and put all those ingredients in an ice cream, can you imagine how wonderful it would be?
I use the Cook’s Illustrated Basic French Vanilla Bean Ice cream base, that I modify by adding a bit of honey to it, cause I love the taste of honey ice cream. I also added goat cheese to the custard base making it tangy and super delicious! I could have jolly well, made vanilla goat cheese ice cream and I know it would have been fantastic. I made a fig compote using the figs, brown sugar, honey and balsamic glaze, and let it cool and get cold in the fridge overnight, just like the custard base. The day of churning, in the last step I swirled in the fig compote, added walnuts as well to the ice cream and put it in the freezer to taste test. The Ice cream was creamy, sweet, tangy, figgy(if I may say so!), decadent, crunchy and I am in love with this new flavor! So so good! It is a must try! If you love figs, you will love this ice cream too!
If you do give this recipe a try, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment in the blog post below.
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup local honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 oz small log of chevre goat cheese
- 2 cups ripe figs cut into quarters
- 1/3 cup local honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze(available in Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- Set a strainer over a medium bowl set in a larger bowl containing ice and 2 cups water. Heat the milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steam appears and the milk is warm (about 175 degrees), about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl until combined and pale yellow, whisk it vigorously. Whisk half the warm milk mixture into the beaten yolks, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined. Whisk the milk-yolk mixture into the warm milk in the saucepan; set the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until steam appears, foam subsides, and the mixture is slightly thickened or an instant-read thermometer registers 180 to 185 degrees. (Do not boil the mixture, or the eggs will curdle.) Immediately strain the custard into the bowl set in the ice bath; cool the custard to room temperature, stirring it occasionally to help it cool. Add in the crumbled goat cheese and whisk to remove any lumps. Once cooled, add in the vanilla extract and stir. Cover and refrigerate for atleast 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- For the Fig Compote: Add the figs to a small saucepan, along with the sugar and the honey, on medium to low heat and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring and mashing the figs with a spatula. Let it cook down for 5 more minutes. Blend it with a hand blender to make a smooth consistency. Add in the balsamic glaze and mix well. Let it cool. Now store in a container and let it cool in the fridge. It will be ready at the same time that the custard will be ready to churn.
- Once, the custard is ready, pour the custard into the ice cream machine and churn, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture resembles soft-serve ice cream for 20 minutes. Remove about ½ cup fig compote and add the remaining to the custard, along with ¾ cup walnuts and let it mix for 5 more minutes. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, sprinkle remaining fig compote on top of the entire ice cream, swirl it in. Top with the remaining walnuts. Press plastic wrap flush against the surface, cover the container, and freeze the ice cream until firm, at least 2 hours.