Have you ever eaten a fresh fig? Before moving to the South, I had never even seen them growing on a tree, let alone taste a fresh fig. And now I have have a fig tree growing in my backyard! I have discovered that fresh figs are sticky, juicy and sweet. I love them and the birds love them (and they also continue to make a mess of my yard with them). I believe the figs in my backyard are called Brown Turkey Figs. They have a subtle sweetness that is not too rich, and I detect some floral notes as well.
The figs have been ripening for about two to three weeks. I have been enjoying them straight off the tree, but I have also made some puree for jam, homemade fig newtons, and ice cream. I found a recipe for Fig Ice Cream in David Lebovitz's book, The Perfect Scoop. It was a very simple recipe and an easy way to use ripe figs. The result was a rich ice cream with a subtle sweet taste, reminiscent of a fig newton, and a creamy texture punctuated by the tiny fig seeds. It is a little rich for the heat outside right now, but all in all, a darn good scoop. Enjoy!
Fig Ice Cream
Recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
David suggests using black mission figs in this recipe because it will give the ice cream a pretty purple hue. I believe the ice cream would also be sweeter. Consider paring this ice cream with honey for added sweetness or a cheese plate for a sweet and salty treat.
2 lbs fresh figs (about 20)
1/2 cup of water
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of 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, non-reactive saucepan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. 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. 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.