Figs in Port ice cream
Alluring ice cream prepared with sweet figs and Port wine confit, on a base of high-quality, rich vanilla ice cream.
  • About 150-200 gram good quality Figs in Port wine confit
  • 2 sheets of gelatine
  • 1-2 vanilla beans (cut length-wise, and with the seeds peeled and collected for use)
  • 500 ml (2.1 cups) milk
  • 500 ml (2.1 cups) cream
  • 30 ml (about 2½ tablespoons) honey (or other inverted sugar, like corn starch)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • About 200 ml (0.8 cup) sugar (amount possibly to be appropriately reduced, to take account of the sweetness of the confit used! Too much overall sugar, and the ice cream will not freeze properly!)
  1. Start by preparing the Figs confit according to a recipe of your liking, or make sure that you have bought a good-quality jar of ready-made confit.Chill in the refrigerator, as the confit only will be added towards the very end of the ice cream-making.
  2. Soak the gelatine sheets in a generous amount of water for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the milk, the cream and the honey in a sauce pan. Add the vanilla beans and the vanilla seeds.
  4. Whip together the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl.
  5. Bring the dairy mixture close to a boil. Slowly, and while whipping constantly, pour – little by little – some of the warm liquid into the whipped egg yolks/sugar [the tempering stage!] Make sure to whip thoroughly during the process.
  6. Pour all the liquid back into the sauce pan. While whisking, re-heat the base on medium-low temperature until it thickens slightly and the temperature reaches 82 degrees Celsius (alternatively, if you work without a thermometer, until the base is thick enough to coat the back of a spatula). Be careful – you do not want to end up with scrambled eggs!
  7. Take the ice cream base off the heat. Remove the vanilla beans, possibly by using a sieve.
  8. Pick up the gelatine sheets (do not attempt to wipe off any water in the process), put them into the ice cream base and stir until they have dissolved completely.
  9. Cool the ice cream base as quickly as possible. Cover, and let the cooled ice cream base chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably longer.
  10. Pour the chilled ice cream base into your ice cream machine and churn according to instructions.
  11. When the ice cream base reaches a stage of soft serve-consistency, cover the bottom of freezing container with half of the Figs confit. On top of this layer of confit, pour the ice cream base and even it. Then pour the remaining half of the Figs confit on top of this layer of ice cream.
  12. Using a knife and a gentle zig-zagging movement, swirl the Figs confit together with the ice cream base.
  13. Even the surface of the ice cream, cover with plastic wrap and lid, and put the container in the freezer.
The base Vanilla recipe used above is a close adaptation of Swedish Master confectioner Jan Hedh's self professed favourite vanilla recipe. To avoid a too sweet (and a too difficult to properly freeze) ice cream, make sure to properly account for the sweetness of the confit when deciding on how much sugar to use for the ice cream base!