Monday, September 22, 2008

Fig And Chevre Ice Cream With A 'Tot' Of Sherry

[It took three intrepid tasters to convince me that this was a blogworthy ice cream. I liked it, but would others? My tasters convinced me that others would like it. Sometimes I need a lot of convincing.]

Figs are showing up in the farmers market and our local Co-op these days. Sun-ripened and sugary-sweet, now is the time to eat them out of hand, grilled with your favorite meats or vegetables, in an appetizer or salad with snowy white, soft goat cheese (chevre), or drizzled with maple syrup or heavy cream for dessert.

Or, as ice cream.
If you can pair figs and chevre in a savory way, why not make a creamy, cold version?
Well, why not?

Christine's Fig and Chevre Ice Cream with Sherry
10 ounces (1 basket) brown Turkey (Turkish) figs, chopped
5 ounces soft white chevre, I used Cypress Grove's 11-ounce log and cut it in half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cream Sherry
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup half & half, I used Strauss Dairy's cream-top
1/2 cup fine sugar

Remove the stem ends of each fig then cut them into quarters, lengthwise, then into halves, making each fig into 8 pieces. This should yield approximately 2 cups of fig pieces.
Put the figs, eggs, chevre and sherry in a food processor and buzz until the mixture is very smooth.
Heat the milk, half & half and sugar to just under a boil.
Remove from the heat and, with the processor running, pour the milk mixture through the feed tube and process until it's all combined and smooth. Now you have an ice cream base.
Pour the base into a large glass bowl and refrigerate until very cold - at least 6 hours or overnight.
Process in your ice cream maker.
May be served soft right out of the ice cream machine, or packed into a container and frozen for a few hours.

Cook's Notes:
> This ice cream is only slightly sweet, relying on the figs, chevre and sherry to give it the flavors I was seeking. It ripens and mellows if allowed to freeze for 24 hours.
> If you don't want the tiny fig seeds in your ice cream, you can strain the mixture into your glass bowl before chilling. Personally, I like the texture of the miniscule, crunchy seeds.
> For me, the addition of Cream Sherry brings the flavors of fig and chevre together very nicely on the palate. Kind of like having a small glass of Sherry after nibbling on a plate of figs and chevre. Only colder.

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