Caramelized Fig Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Honey Pistachios

The thing about having a YouTube cooking channel… is, OH DARN IT’S FIG SEASON, GUESS WE HAVE TO MAKE A BUNCH OF SEASONAL DISHES.

Heh.

the inside of a fig

Son said we should do more fig recipes “for search” and such, but I’m pretty sure he just wants an excuse for me to make more fig recipes.

Sneaky man.

closeup of the inside of a fig

We thought about tiptoeing over to our neighbor’s fig tree under the cover of night, since THEY’RE not eating them… but the local squirrels got to them first.

So I bought some figs.

figs

And then I had to figure out what to do with them.

Can’t do the tarts, we already did those.

No cake, Son doesn’t want cake.

Oooh, that looks good, and that… and why is every recipe Son picked out an ice cream recipe?

figs cooking

So off we went to my mom’s-

-our car battery died.

So we called AAA, got our battery replaced because it was apparently actually dead, and off we went to my mom’s to borrow back our ice cream machine that she has permanently borrowed. It’s pretty much hers at this point.

jammy figs

Cleared out some space in the freezer (why do we still have those really old popsicles, anyways?) so we could freeze the ice cream maker thing…

and an entire journey later

WE’RE READY TO MAKE FIG ICE CREAM!

finally.

fig ice cream topped with pistachios

This ice cream recipe comes from a blog called Happy Yolks. I’d actually bookmarked a vegan version of this ice cream, but since we’re not vegan, I traced my way back to the original recipe.

fig ice cream topped with pistachios

We’ll start by making a caramelized fig jam that’s going to be our swirl in the ice cream.

Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, over medium heat. Unless noted, you’ll always use unsalted butter when you’re cooking – this will allow you to control the amount of salt that’s added, rather than being at the mercy of the butter maker.

Once the butter is melted, dissolve a half-cup of brown sugar into it. It’ll start to smell like toffee.

The recipe says to cut about a pound of figs in half, but if I were to make this again, I’d cut them into quarters or even smaller. The skin doesn’t break down as much as I’d like when it cooks down, so expect to end up with chunks about as big as you cut them in the end result. Add them in with a bit of water and lemon juice. Let this all cook down, about 15-20 minutes, until the figs are chunky and jammy. At first it’ll smell bright and fruity, but as it cooks it’ll begin to smell deeper, more caramelized, more jammy, reminiscent of a tasty pie. The change in fragrance takes you from late summer to mid-fall.

Add a half teaspoon of salt – it may seem odd to add salt to a savory dish, but that slight bit of salt will really bring out the flavors in the jam. Stir it in, and set the jam aside to cool completely.

jammy figs

Next, it’s custard time. We’re making the base of your ice cream. Combine the milk, heavy cream, and granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved.

Then you’ll temper your egg yolks by whisking a small amount of the hot liquid into the yolks before whisking them into the custard. When your yolks are whisked in, place your custard in the fridge and wait for both the custard and fig jam to completely cool.

fig ice cream topped with pistachios

Once everything is nice and cool, it’s ice cream time! Using an ice cream machine, pour the custard into the machine and process however the instructions tell you to. The custard should slowly thicken into a soft ice cream as it freezes in the machine.

Whenever your custard thickens, now it’s time to add in a bit of mascarpone cheese for tang, the fig jam, and some honey roasted pistachios for a bit of texture.

Let that process for about another 10 minutes, and then pour your ice cream into a freezer-safe dish. Stick that into the freezer for at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to serve, let the ice cream sit out for a few minutes until it’s scoopable but not melted.

fig ice cream topped with pistachios

Caramelized Fig Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Honey Pistachios

adapted from Happy Yolks

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 lb figs, chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup honey roasted pistachios
Cooking Directions
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Toss the figs in the saucepan with water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until you have a chunky-jammy mixture. Add salt with one or two stirs, set aside and let cool completely.
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, combine milk, heavy cream, and granulated sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Whisk a little bit of the hot liquid into your egg yolks, to slowly raise the temperature so you don’t curdle your yolks. Then, whisk in the egg yolks into the custard. Set mixture in the fridge and wait until everything has cooled completely.
  3. Using an ice cream machine, pour liquids into the frozen basin and process according to manufacturer instructions. Once ice cream has thickened, add mascarpone, fig jam mixture, and the nuts. Continue to process for 5-10 minutes, until everything is thoroughly swirled in. Pour ice cream into a freezer-safe dish. Freeze at least two hours before serving.
fig ice cream topped with pistachios

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