It's hard to think of a way to improve upon the sweet, nectarlike flavor of fresh figs—except, perhaps, to churn them into ice cream. These dark, soft fruits, the riper the better, are cooked down with lemon zest and juice (and a bit of sugar) before they're blended with cream and chilled.
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2007. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.
- Yield:Makes about 3 cups (750 ml)
- 2 pounds (1 kg) fresh figs (about 20)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, nonreactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the sugar, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the figs are a jamlike consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, purée the fig paste in a blender or food processor with the cream and lemon juice. Taste, then add more lemon juice if desired.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.