I honestly love nothing more than fig season, so much so that I named my dog Fig. I know. I’m one of those people that will walk down the street and suddenly stop just because of the smell of fig leaves. Sweet, deep, earthy, there’s not really anything else like it in my opinion. Fig season is so short that I try and get figs and their leaves into pretty much anything, and one of the best ways to ensure you still get to enjoy the flavour is by making a stash of ice cream for your freezer — although it probably won’t last that long. This is another no-churner for those of us that still don’t have ice cream machines. Yes that includes me.
Time: 1 hour + 4 hours freezing
Photography: Safia Shakarchi
600ml double cream
5 fig leaves (or more if they’re small), washed
100g golden caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Pinch of flaky sea salt
Place the fig leaves into a small saucepan and pour over the cream. Bring to a simmer and when it begins to steam, remove from the heat immediately – don’t let it boil. Set aside to cool and infuse for 1 hour.
Once cool, squeeze the fig leaves to get all of the infused cream out. You can discard the leaves in a compost bin.
Transfer the cream to a heatproof bowl, adding in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Set the bowl over a bain marie (that is, place the bowl over a saucepan with about one inch of simmering water in it) and whisk constantly until light, pale, fluffy and doubled in size.
Pour the mixture into a loaf tin and allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the freezer for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
Remove the tin from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve to allow it to soften up. Scoop into balls and serve in bowls, with a little drizzle of olive oil if you’re feeling fancy.