This fig leaf ice cream makes a fun fall treat with its figgy and subtle coconut flavor paired with fresh figs and pistachios.
Ever since I discovered the culinary use of fig leaves, I’ve been experimenting with its flavor in desserts. Our family loved how the fig leaf panna cotta turned out so I tested a recipe for fig leaf ice cream. I tried a few different methods of infusing the flavors and found that toasting the leaves and using them to infuse the cream for the custard worked best. The fig leaves imparted a lovely figgy and subtle coconut flavor to the ice cream. Paired with fresh figs and pistachios, the fig leaf ice cream was a delightful fall treat.
Fig leaves: fig leaves are edible and used as wraps, teas, syrups, and ice cream. Choose young and tender leaves, and avoid those with brown spots or damage. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a subtle note of coconut.
How to Roast the Fig Leaves
Wash and wipe the fig leaves clean with a paper towel. Place the fig leaves directly on the oven rack and toast until fragrant, about 8 minutes at 325 degrees F. Keep an eye on them to prevent them from burning.
How To Make The Ice Cream
- Heat milk, cream, and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat.
- Crumble the fig leaves into the pan and let them warm up for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, cover, and let the fig leaves steep for a minimum of 3 hours. Steeping it in the fridge overnight is even better, up to 8 hours.
- Strain the steeped cream over a clean saucepan.
- Bring the cream mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl.
- Slowly pour about ¼ cup of warm cream into the egg sugar mixture to temper the eggs. Continue until the cream is finished.
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the custard thickens, about 12-15 minutes.
- Strain the base to remove any solids. Refrigerate the custard for 4 hours or overnight for the flavor to develop.
Churn the ice cream until you get a soft serve consistency. Freeze the ice cream for a minimum of 4 hours.
What to Serve Ice Cream With
I served the fig leaf ice cream with fresh figs and pistachios. Toasted coconut shreds would be a good alternative given the subtle coconut flavor of the ice cream.
If stored well, ice cream in an airtight container lasts up to one month in the freezer. It's best to consume the fig leaf ice cream within two weeks.
Fig Leaf Ice Cream
- 2 ounces fresh fig leaves, washed and dried
- 2 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup full fat milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 pint fresh figs, quartered
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- Preheat over to 325 degrees F.
- Place fig leaves on middle rack in oven. Toast for 8 minutes until dry and fragrant. Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn.
- In large saucepan heat milk, cream, and ¼ cup sugar over low heat until simmering.
- When the fig leaves are ready, crumble them into pan and keep warm for 5 minutes without simmering.
- Remove pan from heat, cover, and steep for minimum of 2 hours. You can also steep in the fridge overnight, up to 8 hours, for the maximal flavor.
- When ready to make ice cream, strain cream mixture with fine mesh sieve over clean saucepan. Discard solids.
- Heat the infused cream mixture over low heat until simmering.
- In large heatproof bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar together until pale.
- Carefully measure out ¼ cup of hot cream mixture. Whisk in the hot cream mixture while whisking the eggs constantly. Continue tempering the eggs by adding another ¼ cup of hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.
- Pour the cream-egg mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spatula, about 15 minutes.
- Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.
- Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in an ice bath until cold, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 4 hours or overnight. I like to refrigerate the base overnight for the most flavor.
- Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Spin until you get a soft serve consistency, about 25-30 minutes.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
- Serve ice cream with fresh figs and pistachios.