Before we ever get off a plane to a new city, we’re researching some of the best places to eat. Our love of food extends to every corner of the city. Some would call it an obsession, but it’s simply a fun way to devour each city’s unique food culture, specialties and dishes. We’re not the only ones who pursue such culinary adventures and one of the best searches on our list is for local ice cream. Oh, the search for great handmade ice cream continues and so far, each city we’ve visited has a great representation of a sweet scoop.
Is it even possible to have ice cream overload? Apparently not for us. Well, at least not yet.
The last few months had us venturing to Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin, Three Twins Ice Cream in Point Reyes, Lappert’s Ice Cream in Palm Springs and our latest treasure find was The Penny Ice Cream Company in Santa Cruz. If you ever venture to this coastal town of Santa Cruz, please promise us you’ll stop by The Penny Ice Cream Company. The burnt salted caramel is to die for! And putting up with the intense dessert heat of Palm Springs is worth all the sun burns if you venture to Lappert’s Ice Cream. The soft, pillow-ly texture of Lappert’s is incredible.
When we’re not on the road and hunting for the city’s ice cream, we’re whipping up different batches at home. It doesn’t take much to make a batch of homemade ice cream. A little patience, some thought, fresh ingredients and sweet fruit is all it takes to enjoy a truly fresh and homemade scoop of sweet joy.
Summer is one of our favorite seasons to make ice cream not only because of the favorable warm weather, but because ripe, sweet fruit is at it’s peak. It’s hard to decide what ice cream we’ll be making each week because every time we walk through the garden or farmers market, the fruit options are endless.
Over the last month we’ve been indulging in super sweet black mission figs. The sugar content and flavor on these little beauties is hard to resist when it comes to making ice cream. Coupled with some left over goat cheese in our fridge, the timing was perfect to whip up a batch of ice cream.
Slow roasting figs in the oven bring out the flavors and sweetness of this wonderful fruit. Adding the creamy tang of goat cheese to this magical fig compote mixture makes a wonderfully fresh and elegant ice cream. Even beyond the sound of it’s elevated status, this ice cream is incredibly satisfying.
So this is where we’re at in Summer: Ice Cream to the max! We can’t stop and neither should you.
Go make yourself of batch of what ever it is that your heart desires. Why? because Summer is still alive and at it’s peak.
Let’s celebrate Summer and Ice Cream till we drop!
Roasted Fig and Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Yield: about 1 qt.
Total Time: 4 hours
The goat cheese ice cream isn't overly tangy, think more cheesecake tang. And it is super smooth. The roasted fig compote streaked through the ice cream is a perfect creamy pairing.
Goat Cheese Ice Cream
- 8 oz (225g) fresh goat cheese
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 10 egg yolks
- pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional - but it does make the ice cream a bit softer and tastier)
Roasted Fig Puree
- 1/2 pound (225g) ripe figs
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) brown sugar
- Crumble the goat cheese into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a bare simmer.
- While the cream heats, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. After the cream is heated, gradually pour the cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to cooking over medium heat. Stirring constantly and scraping the bottom as you stir, heat the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and bourbon to taste and remove from the heat.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the custard over the bowl of crumbled goat cheese. Gently whisk the goat cheese into the custard until it is smooth. Cool the custard for 15 minutes over an ice bath, stirring frequently. Place everything in the fridge to finish chilling completely, at least 3 hours.
- While the custard cools, make the roasted fig compote.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the tough stems off of the figs then slice the figs into quarters. Place the figs in a baking dish and toss with one Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Cover the baking dish with foil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the figs are soft.
- When cool enough to handle, puree the figs in a food processor or blender with the remaining balsamic vinegar (feel free to add more balsamic to taste). Put puree in a bowl and place in fridge to cool until ready to mix into ice cream.
- Begin freezing a container to put finished ice cream in.
- Churn ice cream custard in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Scoop about half of ice cream into prepared frozen container. Spoon a couple heavy lines of fig puree over the ice cream. Layer in the second half of the ice cream. Spoon another couple heavy lines of fig puree over the ice cream. Cut through the lines of fig puree with a spatula or spoon to spread the streaks of fig puree through the churned ice cream.