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Fig & Anise Ice Cream

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Yields 6 cups.

Leaving on the fig skins makes for an even more intense flavor. You'll need an ice-cream machine.

  • 1-1/2 lb. ripe figs, stems removed, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 cups cream or half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. aniseed
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup crème fraîche

Purée the figs in a food processor or blender. Transfer the purée to a 10-inch skillet with 1/3 cup of the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the figs have thickened into a jam, about 30 minutes. In a saucepan, heat the cream, honey, and aniseed over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey. Whisk a little of the hot cream into the egg yolks, and then whisk them back into the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Immediately transfer to a bowl. Stir in the fig purée and crème fraîche and chill thoroughly. Whisk the egg whites until foamy; add the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cooled fig purée, and then freeze in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup; Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 29; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 40; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Laurie Smith

The recipe calls for the use of raw egg whites, which introduces a very real risk of salmonella poisoning. You can purchase pasteurized eggs to use instead of raw eggs to eliminate the risk, but unfortunately pasteurized eggs will not whip. I used pasteurized eggs, and whisked the whites until they were foamy, and used them that way. The ice cream is delicious; the figs and the anise seeds give it unusual depth of flavor. Just be sure that you don't put raw egg whites into your ice cream!

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