It’s still close to 100 degrees during the day. I write that as if the weather dictates when to eat luscious, cold, creamy ice cream but the heat does make me start thinking about creating something cool and refreshing with summer’s bounty.
This fig and cognac ice cream blends a few of my favorite things: figs, cream, cognac. The result is a quick-to-make elegant treat.
If you have never tried a fresh fig, you are in for a treat. Go out and buy a couple of pounds of black mission figs and get ready for several great fig recipes over the next few days!
Be careful when you are picking or buying figs: they do not ripen further after you pick them. Look for the slightly soft or even slightly oozing ones.
At home, I have two fig bushes – one in the ground and one in a pot. I have waited patiently for 3 years for enough figs to cook with. Once again, neither has produced many figs. The squirrels are almost as disappointed as I am.
However, I found two pounds of perfectly ripe black mission figs at the store and my daughter lent me her ice cream maker. (Sharing some cooking tools really helps when your space is limited!) I once had figs in Armagnac (the liquor, not the province)– and want to reproduce the rich flavor in an ice cream.
Most homemade ice creams need to be eaten very soon after making them. Not this fig and cognac ice cream – it still tastes great a few days later.
Fig and Cognac Ice Cream
2lbs black mission figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
zest of one lemon
2t lemon juice
3T cognac or brandy
1c heavy cream
balsamic vinegar – a drizzle (optional)
Ice cream maker, a blender or food processor, a 12” to 14” skillet (non reactive), measuring spoons, measuring cup, and a sturdy spatula.
Put the figs, water, sugar and lemon zest into the skillet and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Stir it gently as it bubbles. When you can scrape your spatula along the bottom of the pan and the liquid does not rush to cover the bare spot, pour in the cognac and cook for a minute longer. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, pour the fig mixture, lemon juice and heavy cream into your blender and puree. Taste to check that the sweet/tart balance is right.
Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the ice cream maker’s directions.
Be adventurous and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar when you serve it. A friend of mine at My Gluten Free Friend suggested this and it is wonderful.
Adapted from David Lebovitz The Perfect Scoop.