It was such a gorgeous and sunny day today that it almost feels appropriate to post an ice cream recipe, despite the fact that we're deep into fall and you are probably thinking more about hot drinks and hearty stews than a scoop of the cold stuff.
Nonetheless, if there was ever an ice cream suited for fall, this one is it.
Figs are, to my mind, an unusual fruit - sweet, but always in a subtle, earthy way. When I found some beautiful Black Missions at a farm stand, I bought a whole bag full - and then thought long and hard about how to best use them. A rustic tart? Roasted with honey and olive oil, over a salad? Served simply with a bit of goat cheese and fresh bread on a platter?
I wanted them to last a little bit longer than one meal, though, which usually means... jam. Or ice cream! I've said before that The Perfect Scoop is the only ice cream book you'll ever need, and this recipe proved the truth of that once again. The fruit is first cooked down into a lovely jammy mush, skins and all, then pureed with cream, and finally frozen. The more purple the skins, the more vibrantly pink your final product will be. I'm not usually a big fan of seeds in ice cream, but in this case they add a pleasant textural note and a little bit of crunch. And true to the figs themselves, this ice cream is not too sweet and would be perfect alongside a scoop of vanilla, or even topping a rustic apple tart.
Fresh Fig Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 kg fresh figs
125 ml water
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
150 gr. sugar
250 ml heavy cream
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, nonreactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are tender, 8-10 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the sugar, and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the figs are a jamlike consistency. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, puree the fig paste in a blender or food processor with the cream and lemon juice. Taste, then add more lemon juice if desired.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.