Fig, Feta & Honey Ice Cream

Figs are beginning to show up in our local markets. A recent outing left me with a dozen, plump, ripe Mission Figs. I love figs, but I tend, as do many, to be fairly predictable when it comes to cooking with them. Usually they can be found in an arugula salad sprinkled with goat cheese and prosciutto. Delicious, but rather generic. After a brief chat with the check out lady, it seemed that I was one of many that day to have had just that overwhelmingly original idea.

I had recently been reading a lot about  Jeni Britton Bauer and her burgeoning ice cream empire. Luckily the article came with an interesting spin on an ice cream base. Because of the strong flavors of my ingredients, a neutral base rather then a vanilla one was exactly what I needed. Thanks Jeni!

I did however slightly modify her recipe which you can find here. I halved the sugar in anticipation of the addition of honey and left out the cream cheese, mostly because I don’t particularly like the taste of cream cheese.

Fig, Feta & Honey Ice Cream (makes 1 quart)

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 Black mission figs, chopped (use re-constituted dried figs if fresh are unavailable)
4 oz feta, chopped
1/4 cup dark, strong honey

In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set  aside. In a saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in milk and cornstartch. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool. 

Meanwhile, chop figs and feta and measure out 1/4 cup honey. When the custard has cooled pour it into the ice cream maker, add the feta and half of the figs. Process according to manufacturers instruction. After about 15 minutes, or when ice cream has visibly thickened add the remaining figs. Finally, when just about finished pour in the honey and allow to partially mix.

Remove from the ice cream maker, transfer to a freezer safe container and let set.