Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Figgy Delights: Fresh Fig Ice Cream

Everybody loves icecream, right?

That's what I thought when I entered to win David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop over at Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails. Kate is short on space and sick of clutter, so she's giving away all but her very favorite cookbooks... to the benefit of her readers. But, there is a catch. The winner of each cookbook needs to make one recipe from the book and blog about it within 30 days of receipt. Little did I know, when I entered, that I would actually win the book (yay for me!).

I received The Perfect Scoop last week. I'll admit that it was pretty difficult to pick the first recipe to try. The malted milk icecream was calling my name. The Guinness Milk Chocolate icecream looked truly intriguing. The Aztec "Hot" Chocolate icecream sounded right up my alley. And the Salted Butter Caramel sauce looked absolutely divine.

But, then my "eat seasonal" brain kicked in. I realized that we had fresh figs sitting right on the counter. And how glorious would fresh fig icecream be?? We didn't know. But we were eager to find out!
The fresh figs on the counter ended up going into a fabulous pizza (with bacon, caramelized onions, and bleu cheese). However, I went back to the market the next morning to procure more. The recipe calls for 2 lbs of fresh figs. Unfortunately, I could only find about a pound of the black mission figs Lebovitz suggests are best, since they give the ice cream a "lovely deep violet color." Since I didn't feel like driving around the city searching for figs, I settled for Turkish figs instead, and crossed my fingers that the final product wouldn't be TOO ugly.
I chopped up my figs, added a bit of sugar and the zest of one lemon to the pot. Easy, no?
Turns out the most difficult part of this recipe is the cooking of the figs. All told, it took me about 40 minutes to get my fig and sugar mixture cooked down to a "jam-like consistency." Fortunately, it was well worth the effort.
After adding a bit of lemon juice and a cup of cream, and whirring everything around in the blender, the ice cream base was looking pretty darned good. And I could hardly wait. Twenty minutes in the icecream maker, and we were pretty much set. I did give the ice cream a bit of time in the freezer to firm up -- but maybe not QUITE long enough, as it was still pretty soft when we ate it.
But, OH! the delight. Although this ice cream wasn't as creamy as those made with a French custard base, it was absolutely delicious. Sweet (but not too sweet), figgy, and fabulous. And not even such a bad color!

We were so impressed we've decided to continue making ice creams from the Lebovitz book for the rest of the summer (and possibly beyond). And heck, we'll even blog about them.

Which recipe should we try next??
If you have any opnions about the next recipe we choose, let us know! We'll take the suggestions in the order received (and/or give priority to the most requested flavors).

Oh -- and stay tuned for BIG news later this week.
We've been asked to participate in a recipe challenge that's going to put all our skills to the test... and we're totally stoked!

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  1. WOW! Fig Ice cream, who woulda thought?? (obviously you!) looks great. I love the idea, and what a nice way to fancy-up ice cream for an adult dessert.

  2. What a gorgeous recipe! I love the color. I also adore figs, so this is very appealing.

    If you end up with a bounty of figs again, an easy savory preparation is to wrap them in prosciutto and roast them a bit (or not). So yummy.

  3. I too have the The Perfect scoop and have been wanting to try the fig ice cream. You've inspired me. Tomorrow night I'll give it a try! may have to make that fig pizza too. Pam

  4. MMMMMMM,...what a lovely fig ice cream: that is totally something different!! Looks so lovely!!!

  5. Looks delicious...I love fig so I am sure this would taste equally good.

  6. What an absolutely gorgeous colour!! I've been eyeing the ripening figs on my father's trees, and I'm planning a "surprise, your loving daughter came for a visit!" sometime later this week...what a selfish beast, I am.

  7. I don't think I've ever had figs, but serving them in ice cream seems like a good way for me to get into them.

  8. Where did you find fresh figs, Lo? I hardly ever see them in stores around here. In fact, I had them just once, when I was Israel!

  9. I love figs, though it's winter in Oz so I'll have to wait to try that recipe!

    I would LOVE to see the AZTEC recipe - spice and chocolate I'm guessing?

    Enjoy your summer icecreams!

  10. Nice; I bought figs this weekend, thinking of you! (so far, no cooking, though four or five went directly into my mouth last night)

    Our ice cream maker didn't survive our last move, but I think a granita is in my future.

    As for votes on what to make next: Aztec Chocolate or Pear Pecorino Ice Cream (perhaps when the summer Bartletts are in full swing?)

  11. Julia - Have found fresh figs at both Outpost (black mission) and Pick'nSave here in Milwaukee.

  12. Fig ice cream! I don't like figs (as I've established here already) but you've truly got me reconsidering. For one thing, the color of that ice cream is so beautiful! And I think it's more the texture of figs that doesn't agree with me, which wouldn't get me here. Very elegant and grown up -- but I still might scream for it. :)

  13. If you don't make the guinness ice cream I will have to make it, and then I shall be fat and it will be your fault so you'd better make it and of course tell me how it tastes!!!


  14. What a great idea for icecream. I love figs, although they are generally hard to find fresh around these parts...

  15. Oh YUM!

    I'm kinda partial to Guinness, and breastfeeding so I can't have much (not that I can handle much anyway!). I always have a sip of hubby's - we buy it for special occasions because it's so expensive here in Japan.

    So go on already! Make the Guinness ice cream! I'm going to live vicariously through your post...

  16. I love fig ice cream! I am so excited about this move to a place with a huuge fig tree.

  17. Oh! Fig ice cream, must taste wonderful...unfortunately here is hard to find fresh fig, which I miss a lot since in Brazil fig was everywhere. Great pictures!

  18. Yum! to this ice cream and your previous pizza post - I need to go get some more figs!

  19. I just passed up a beautiful box of figs in the market..really cheap too. Im headin back tomorrow so I can make your ice cream!! Figtreeapps

  20. That second photo is terrific! I love it. I might have mentioned in your previous post but I've never tasted figs. What do they taste like?

    Can't wait to read what you guys are up to!

  21. Did you ever see the movie Women in Love with Alan Bates? The fig scene is memorable.

  22. Ooooh! This looks GREAT but you know what, the Hot Aztec Chocolate is KILLING me. So fabulous. I'm so glad this cookbook has gone to the "right home" (which wasn't mine) and that you're enjoying it!

  23. Its looking so nice I love fig ice cream! I am so excited about this move to a place with a huuge fig tree
    Getting a Payday advance is just a few steps away


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