If you have a fig tree (or access to one), you know the season is short and sweet. It's literally about two weeks during early July where I live in Florida. During those couple of weeks, anyone who has access to fresh figs scrambles to savor them fully and not let any go to waste.
A few years ago, I wrote about having friends with a fig tree who were always generous with their harvest. In return, I hosted them for fig-themed dinner parties. At our last one, David, Mark and I had goat cheese stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto as an appetizer, figs in a caramelized onion chutney that topped a burger with goat cheese and arugula on a pretzel bun and this stunning fig tart for dessert.
Unfortunately, my friends had to cut down their fig tree so my fig supply ran dry for a couple of years. But they recently moved to a new house, complete with a beautiful and plentiful fig tree in the backyard. You can imagine my excitement at getting my hands on fresh figs again!
But the best part was when they recently hosted me for a fig-themed dinner party at their new house! They recreated the menu we had years ago in perfect fashion, from fig cocktails to the same stellar tart. Mark was ecstatic his first try at it came out great, and I was so proud of him!
Grilled fig, goat cheese and prosciutto skewers
Burger with goat cheese and fig chutney
Mark and his beautiful fig tart
In addition to a full stomach, I was sent home with a ton of fresh figs that night. I started off using them by making my go-to refrigerator fig jam and shared with family and friends.
I also made a savory fig chutney and froze it in small batches in Ziploc bags. Now, whenever I grill a couple of pork chops, I can pull out a bag and have a beautiful sauce ready to go in just minutes.
I also learned that my dog Boz developed a liking for figs this year so he was my faithful kitchen helper as I processed all of my harvest.
But this year, I wanted to try something new with the figs. With the current heat, I immediately turned to frozen desserts and narrowed it down to a fig ice cream. I loved this salted caramel ice cream I made last summer and thought it was time to once again break out the now 36-year-old ice cream maker. Every time I plug it in, it amazing that it still works!
Honey Roasted Fig Ice Cream
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Makes 1 quart
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 48 hours
For the figs:
2 cups fresh figs quartered
1 Tablespoon of honey (I used a bourbon infused honey which was amazing)
For the ice cream:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
It's delicious on its own the next day!
Or, take your fig fanaticism even further and serve topped with this fig syrup.
This was a total experiment, so I don't have a strict recipe to follow so feel free to play around with this. I quartered about 2 cups of figs and spread them out on a sheet tray and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes at a low temp of 250 degrees. I was attempting to dry out the figs a bit, and I chose not to add sugar like we did when roasting the figs for the ice cream since these would eventually be mixed with simple syrup.
I added the roasted figs to a simple syrup made with equal parts sugar and water and let them simmer on low heat for about a half hour.
Once they cooled down, I transferred the fig mixture to a container and let sit in the fridge overnight.
The next day, I pureed the mixture in my Vitamix.
What resulted was a sweet (but not overly sweet) thick syrup that is perfect for drizzling over that fig ice cream.
If you would like to learn more about the world of frozen desserts, you can't miss our upcoming virtual Frozen Dessert class on Sunday, August 1 at 10am CST. You'll make:
- Chocolate Semifreddo (Frozen Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Nuts)
- Strawberry, Lime and Coconut Popsicles
Frozen desserts are this week's challenge for our private Facebook group members. Join, make a frozen dessert and share it with our group to inspire others. Or, share your pictures from that virtual class!