I love figs, they bring back childhood memories of summers by the sea. The marvellous greengrocer down the road always has the purple ones at this time of the year and I’d been eyeing them, thinking they’d be wonderful in ice cream. This weekend I finally had the time to make it. Did a little research first as I wanted more of a complex flavour so I roasted them with honey first and infused the custard milk with cinnamon, vanilla and star anise. Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus gave me the idea to use star anise and the end result is deeply satisfying. And, it’s completely sugar free, the sweetness coming from the ripe figs and the honey. Great to eat on its own but also great with just a little maple syrup on top for extra richness.
Recipe and method: I got 8 figs but used only 7 (ate one as they looked so good), cut the tops off, then cut into 8 pieces each, drizzled with 2 teaspoons of honey and roasted in a buttered dish for 30 minutes at 180C. Meanwhile, poured 300ml whole milk and 300ml double cream in a saucepan, added one star anise, half a cinnamon stick (this was quite a big half) and half a vanilla pod, seeds scraped into the milk/ cream mixture then heated this to just below boiling point and left to infuse for about 20-30 minutes. Separately, whisked 5 egg yolks until pale, then strained the milk and cream mix into the egg yolks, removing the star anise, cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Whisked this to combine then returned to the saucepan to make the custard, stirring it slowly until it thickened. Once thickened, poured the custard straight into a bowl, covered with cling film, left it to cool then into the fridge overnight. Roast figs also went into the fridge overnight. In the morning, pureed the figs and whisked into the custard then churned in the ice cream maker and froze.
It really is delicious as it is but if you like your ice cream sweeter, whisk in 40g of sugar with the egg yolks.