When I was a baby, my dad planted a fig tree in my parent’s yard. Thirty-some-odd years later, as the season begins to fade ever so slightly from the raging red of summer to the gold tinge of autumn, my parent’s fig tree swells with fruit. Lucky for me. I can always count on a quart-sized freezer bag (or two!) stuffed full of sweet fresh figs.
Usually, I immediately freeze my stash until Louisiana strawberries come into season sometime in early spring. I horde them so I can make my favorite strawberry and fig jam. But just this once, I decided to ration out a portion for homemade cinnamon sugar pecan and fig ice cream.
Soft, over ripe figs work best. However, freezing and thawing fresh figs softens them up perfectly for me. I don’t even have to remove the skins. I simply trim the stems and mash them up really well with a potato masher.
The flavors remind me of The Husband’s other favorite ice cream flavor — Butter Pecan. Only this is ice cream is taken to a whole new level with the addition of roasted candied pecans and figs. The cinnamon and sugar glaze adds warmth to the flavor while roasting the nuts and figs brings out their natural sweetness. Toss these into creamy homemade vanilla ice cream and it’s a match made in heaven.
Cinnamon Sugar Pecan and Fig Ice Cream
For the candied pecans and figs:
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 pint figs chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the ice cream:
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
For the candied figs and pecans:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg white, water, and vanilla. Stir to coat.
In a smaller separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the pecans and figs to the egg mixture, followed by half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Spread pecans and figs in an even layer of a greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Stir mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roast for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow mixture to cook completely.
For the ice cream:
In a large mixing bowl, combine whole milk and sugar. Beat at low speed until sugar is completely dissolved, about two minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
Prepare ice cream according to your machine’s directions. Add cooled candied figs and pecans, along with any juice that may have accumulated during roasting, during the last five minutes of processing.
Makes 14 servings, one cup each