I told my Instagram friends that this week is Fig Week here at MoG… and today I bring you almost a too-good-to-be-true Fig, whiskey, and bacon ice cream.
1) Because it’s fig season in Mississippi, duh. How can you NOT take advantage of figs that you can pluck from neighbors’ trees or buy at produce stands and farmer’s markets all over the place? The season feels so short, and so special.
2) When my mama was going through chemo last summer and no food would stay down, I found some figs (her favorite) at one of aforementioned produce stands. They were one of two things I remember her wanting to eat during that hard time. Fig season will always, always always remind me of how strong my cancer-surviving mama really is. I decided that figs will now forever represent mama’s tenacity and strength.
3) At a 2 year old birthday party last weekend (we’ve been going to one of these fun, adorable events every weekend this summer… apparently all of Dub’s buds got born in June & July. :)) a pretty mama asked me if I had a fig ice cream recipe. I didn’t…but at that moment I knew I wanted one real bad. so bad in fact, that I posted a facebook plea to help me find more figs.
4) Thanks to said Facebook plea, I now know where all the figs in Jones county are. All of them. 😉
5) Lastly, um, Because figs, whiskey and bacon. Really. Did I really need to explain all those other things to get to this one?
- FOR THE ICE CREAM BASE:
- 2 cups milk +2 Tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons. cornstarch
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- 1⁄3 Cup sugar
- ⅓ Cup honey
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature and softened
- FOR THE FLAVOR
- 20 to 25 Fresh figs, washed & cut in half
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons Honey (local is always better!)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons whiskey (I used Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, because I had a pint handy, but any bourbon or rye would be just fine.)
- 2 strips bacon, cooked crispy and minced without fat
- YOU'LL ALSO NEED
- Ice cream mixer
- A plastic bag
- A pan filled with ice for the ice bath
- 1 roasting pan (for the figs)
- 1 cooling rack and cookie sheet with sides (to bake the bacon)
- FOR THE BASE
- In a mixing bowl, mix 2 Tbs of the whole milk and the cornstarch; this creates what's called a "slurry" and will be your thickener. Set it aside.
- In a large saucepan, mix together remaining milk and the heavy cream, sugar, honey, corn syrup, and salt; and heat it until it is almost boiling.
- You'll want to keep it at this temperature for 4 minutes, stirring.
- Now, Stir in the cornstarch slurry.
- Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in the hot milk mixture; whisk this all together until it's smooth.
- Now for the ice bath. Pour the mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. (about 30 minutes) You can also just put it in the fridge for an hour or so.
- MAKING THE FIGS
- Preheat your oven to 375
- Slice your figs in half and place them in a roasting pan or glass baking dish, spreading them out evenly.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add in the Honey and cook until they've combined.
- Add the whisky into the hot honey/butter mixture.
- Pour it all over your figs and lightly roll them in the mixture so all the sides are covered.
- Bake/fry/microwave your bacon (I always bake mine for 15-20 minutes on 375 using a cooling rack and a cookie sheet with sides. This gives me PERFECT perfectly crispy bacon, lets me cook a lot at the time, and keeps the stuff out of it's own grease.)
- Roast the figs for about 15 minutes or until they are bubbly and very soft.
- Cool the bacon and the figs in the freezer or fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Mince the bacon, then roughly chop the figs.
- PUT IT TOGETHER:
- Pour the base mixture into an ice cream maker; freezing for about 15 minutes, or until it's set and isn't runny but hasn't entirely frozen yet.
- At this point, spoon in the fig pieces and fig juices slowly little by little making sure it all spreads out evenly throughout the ice cream
- Add in the bacon crumbles, let mix for 2-5 minutes until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. (My freezer is too full so this takes what feels like forever... but it's probably only 2 hours or so)