I Love Desserts

Spiced Fig Ice Cream

Makes 1 generous quart


Fig trees, transplanted to Atlantic barrier islands like Ocracoke off the shore of North Carolina and to the California wine country, love the heat. When fresh, figs have a juicy sweetness. Drying intensifies their flavor and gives them a little more body. Spiced fig recipes, from cakes to pies to ice creams, abound in the coastal South. This ice cream, made with homemade crème fraîche, is luscious. It was inspired by one in Charleston Recipes.

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk or sour cream
6 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped dried figs

1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the heavy cream and buttermilk together and set aside in a warin place to thicken for several hours or overnight.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture turns pale yellow and falls in ribbons, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium-size heavy saucepan and stir in the milk and spices. Bring to a simmer and whisk the mixture constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.

3. Stir the lemon juice, vanilla, and dried figs into the custard and set aside to cool.

4. When the custard has cooled, fold in the buttermilk until well blended. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.


Buy the Book!


All-American Desserts
400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes
for America's Best Loved Desserts

by Judith A. Fertig
The Harvard Common Press
Hardcover: $32.95
ISBN 1-55832-190-X
Paperback: $18.95
ISBN 1-55832-191-8
Recipe reprinted by permission.


All-American Desserts



This page created March 2004