Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fresh Fig Ice Cream

Original Recipe:
"Fresh Fig Ice Cream" from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop.

Original Ingredients:
  • 2lbs fresh black mission figs (about 20)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste.

Original Method:
  1. Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, non-reactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes until the figs are tender. Remove the lid, add the sugar and continue to cook until it reaches a jam-like consistency.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend together with cream and lemon juice, chill in the fridge and then put in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions.

My Ingredients:
  • 450g of Turkey's bursa figs (about 8)
  • 125ml of water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 75g of sugar
  • 120g of double cream
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 15ml of Crème de Cassis 

My Method: 
  • I halved the recipe and translated it into metric measurements. The only exception is water. I did not reduce the amount of water into because it would not be enough to cook the raw figs.
  • I added 15ml (approximately 1 tbsp) of Crème de Cassis after blending to avoid the ice cream from freezing too much.

One-line Verdict:
Looks rustic but tastes divine. Not the easiest ice cream to make though.

    • This ice cream is egg-free, it means it's particularly easy to freeze into hard ice. Using an ice cream maker should help but I don't have one. I did churn the mixture a lot (every 30 minutes for the first 4 hours) but it just couldn't reach the creamy texture. I will make this or any other non-custard based ice cream again only if I get a decent ice cream maker.
    • Thanks to the liqueur. I think it did help to prevent the ice cream from freezing too much. I was afraid the addition of Crème de Cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur from France) would interfere the flavour but luckily it didn't happen. If I make this ice cream again, I would use Rum, Brandy or Vodka as the higher alcohol concentration should be more efficient in preventing ice formation. Or I'd replace some granulated sugar with liquid glucose, which can provide some viscosity and prevent ice formation.
    • Though it looks rustic, it tastes good. What can I say? It tastes DIVINE. No exaggeration. The sweetness is just right and the fig seeds give an interesting crunchy feeling. Did I mention the colour? No food colouring but the figs and double cream alone are enough to give the ice cream an absolutely gorgeous pink.
    • I think a food processor can be used to blend the fig jam before mixing it with double cream and lemon juice to grate the fig skins and give it a smoother feeling.
    • Figs are in season from autumn till early spring, so seize your chance before they're gone!
    • Approximate cost of the main ingredients: £4 (about 500g, excluding the cost of liqueur)

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