Figs are slowly going out of season and I wanted to get in one more recipe before the season ends! I love figs and have grown up eating a lot of figs in my childhood, thanks to my dad who LOVES FIGS! He will eat fresh figs when in season, and when not in season, he will eat the dried figs. Figs are a part of this morning breakfast, and he cannot start his day without them! Did you know that figs have a lot of health benefits that include aiding with asthma, lowers the blood pressure, helps with constipation since it is a high source of fiber, it is very cooling for the body as well, if your body has a lot of heat and many other benefits that you can find online from reliable resources.
Figs are quite underrated and many people do not like the texture. There are various kinds of figs such as Mission Figs, Calmyrna Figs, Tiger Figs etc. I had an amazing opportunity with Valley Fig a couple of weeks ago, where I got to visit Quivira Vineyards in Healdsburg where we got to tour the winery and see the beautiful fig trees and eat figs right off the trees in the glorious company of Chef Joanne Weir! It was such a great day to spend with her and her filming crew, along with other amazing bloggers. We even saw a fig bush called an espalier which are apparently easy to grow. I really want to look into planting a fig tree this year!
So I love fig jam, and it goes so well on a cheese board, especially this time of the year, come Fall, transitioning into Winter, and Holiday season! Fig jam, with beautiful figs on a board with crostinis and beautiful different varieties of cheese is a fantastic way to start any holiday party! So I made a spiced fig jam, spiced with cinnamon and star anise. Star Anise is probably my favorite holiday spice, and I LOVE baking and making desserts with star anise. It imparts that licorice, fennel, fresh flavor that is so pleasing to the palette and my nose :). I think I should put star anise in one of those fragrance cloth mini bags and put it by my pillow hehe.
I love making ice creams and eating ice creams. It is probably my favorite dessert ever. I love eating ice creams any time of the year, especially in the cold. I don’t know what it is about eating ice cream in the winter, but it just feels right! LOL. Since cheese plates are so popular and I love them too, I made a cheese platter inspired ice cream! This is a Fig, Honey and Goat Cheese Ice cream with Rum Walnut Toffee bits, and Spiced Fig Jam swirled in layers! There is crunch, tanginess, texture, sweetness, all of it in the ice cream and every bite is like heaven in your mouth. My kids LOVED this ice cream so much so that it got over pretty quickly, because they were not satisfied with just one scoop! This has become one of my favorite flavors. The Rum Walnut Toffee is a great addition to the ice cream and works really well together in the ice cream.
If you do get a chance to make it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post below.
Hope you all are having a wonderful October! I have a fun bunch of Diwali inspired – Indian inspired sweets/cookies coming up on the blog next week that I am very excited to share with you all.
1 ½ cups of coarsely chopped walnuts(do not have to be toasted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum
Fig and Goat Cheese Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 oz honey chevre goat cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup good local honey
1 tbsp good vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
2 cups of fig jam
Spiced Fig Jam:
In a medium pot, on medium heat, add in all the ingredients and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Once the mixture starts boiling, let it boil for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, switch off the gas. And remove the star anise and cinnamon. Use a potato masher to mash up all the jammy fig pulp. The mixture should look almost smooth with some tiny fig bits here and there. Store it into glass jars and put it in the refrigerator. It will last for a month.
Rum Walnut Toffee:
In a jelly roll pan, lay it with parchment paper. Now in a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add in the butter, sugar and salt. Let it all melt, and then bring to a boil. Keep stirring all the time. Keep a candy thermometer in the saucepan, and let it reach 280 degrees, which is close to a hard candy stage. At that point switch off the gas. Add in the walnuts, vanilla extract and the rum and stir.
Immediately pour it onto the parchment paper on the jelly roll pan, and smoothen it with a spatula to layer it evenly. Let it cool for about an hour. Break it into pieces and store in an air tight container for a week.
Fig and Goat Cheese Ice Cream:
Set a strainer over a medium bowl set in a larger bowl containing ice and 2 cups water. Heat the milk, heavy 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.) Switch off the gas. Now add in the goat cheese, and immediately whisk vigorously for 2 minutes, until all the goat cheese blends with the custard.
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. Once cooled, add in the vanilla extract and stir. Cover and refrigerate for atleast 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
Once, the custard is ready, pour the custard into the ice cream machine and churn, following the manufacturer’s instructions. After about 5 minutes of churning, add in the jam and let it churn for another 20 minutes.
In a 9 inch baking loaf pan, add in 1/s of the ice cream. Now dollop about 1/3 of the fig jam on the top and swirl it around. Then add in the rum walnut toffee bits on the top, as much as you prefer. Repeat a second layer, ending with the rum walnut toffee bits on the top. Now cover with aluminum foil and let it set in the freezer for atleast 3 hours before serving!