Siri, I have an entire tree full of fresh figs. What can I make? Answer: You are obligated to make this fresh fig walnut ice cream recipe and Instagram shot as seen below. I do not believe there are exceptions to this answer. 

The first batch of figs from the tree at my Grandparents' house is ready and I have pounds of these gems at my disposal. For the rest of July, I'll be posting several recipes for fresh figs (which seem to be severely limited on the web). While my baby fig trees from Christmas aren't producing this year, I'm enjoying the bounty from the big tree without complaint.

This recipe for Fresh Fig and Walnut Ice Cream is loosely based on a fig puree recipe from Endless Simmer sent to me by my fig-everything scout while the ice cream base is based on an Eating Well recipe. I'm going to tell you up front, this is a 'sometimes' indulgence as evidenced by the ingredient list. Don't freak out. Just savor it. If you're hesitant to jump into the flavors of fig, this ice cream is a great start. Figs have a very specific flavor, and this mix has the perfect lightness of fig.

Fresh Fig Walnut Ice Cream

Ingredients:

For the Ice Cream:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
  • 1/2 water
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (Note: This is what I had on hand. I suggest the low fat version.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Fig Mix:

  •  3/4 cup fresh figs, chopped
  •  1 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 T Amaretto (almond flavored liquor)
  • 1/2 C walnuts

Directions:

For the ice cream.... Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl,stirring once, and let stand. Pour 1 1/4 C milk and 1/4 C water into a large saucepan. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and heat the mixture over medium heat until steaming. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and condensed milk. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated (3 to 5 minutes). Do not bring to a boil.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining milk and water. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or place into an ice bath if you're anxious to get your fig on.

Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.

For the fig puree mix...

Boil ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes (until reduced) and allow to cool before adding to the ice cream machine. Toast the walnuts and break into pea-sized bites. Add into machine as well.

Words of Wisdom... 

  • If you want to make the ice cream ahead of time, store it in an airtight container.
  • All things you add to an ice cream base, like walnuts, should be small and 100% cooled before adding.
  • Add the 'extras' during the final 5 minutes of ice cream freezing.

What would you do with fresh figs?

-Carlene RD

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.