Saturday, October 18, 2014

Figged out!

Our summer plum harvest was small this year, but this fall, our brown turkey fig tree has been out of control!  DH and I have hardly eaten any fresh fruit other than figs since early September, and at the peak a little more than a week ago, we were picking a couple of dozen figs a day:

Fortunately, our neighbors like figs, but even so, we still had quite a surplus!  In desperation, I started exploring fig recipes: chicken with a fig balsamic sauce, fig ice cream, fig almond cake...

Everything was tasty, especially the fig ice cream.  I'm still perfecting the recipe, but the following, adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop, is worth a try:

2 lbs. figs (brown turkey figs, mission figs, or other varieties)
1 lemon
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
chopped candied ginger, about 1/4 to 1/2 c. (optional)

Cut off the stems from the figs, chop them into eighths, and put them in a pot with the water.  Zest the lemon peel directly into the pot, bring it to a boil, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until the figs are soft.  Add the sugar, and boil down until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency.  Brown turkey figs have a lot of water in them, so you can boil quite vigorously until the mixture thickens and then simmer it more gently, with frequent stirring so that it doesn't stick and burn.  When the fig mixture is ready, turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

When cool, stick in a blender with the cream and blend until smooth.  Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste (I used about 1-2 Tbs.).  Chill thoroughly, and then churn in your ice cream maker according to your machine's instructions.  As your ice cream churns, add the chopped candied ginger as a mix-in if you like.

I found this ice cream on the sweet side, and almost more of a sorbet than an ice cream, although with a very rich fig flavor.  I tried again with 1-1/2 pounds of figs, half a cup of sugar, and 1-1/2 cups of cream, but that batch of ice cream came out on the grainy side.  When I see my parents in a couple of weeks, I will try again with the smaller amount of figs and sugar (already cooked and in the freezer!), but just a cup of cream, and report back.

Cheers, and happy eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment