Hiatus achievement: unlocked. I’m back! Fall has begun and life has really picked up. Rehearsals have started for the tour I’m doing and I’m being reminded what it’s like to play pretend for 8 hours a day. It’s the best kind of exhausting. It does feel pretty incredible to be in a room with hardworking actors who all want the best show possible. Maybe we’ll want to kill each other by December, but as of now, we’re all in this together. I head out for the first leg of our travels on October 2nd, so I’m hoping to get in another few posts before I’m away from home for a bit.
I’ve decided this fall I will create a new version of “The Weekend ReTREAT.” I’ll go more into it later this week, but the short story is: it’s selfishly a way for me to enjoy the city when I’m back in town here and there. This post is a good preview to what the first Weekend ReTREAT will focus on. Ice cream is seen as a summer treat, but it really should be enjoyed all year long, shouldn’t it? So I used the basic no-churn ice cream recipe I’m obsessed with and folded in a more autumn style flavor combination. It gave me a chance to try my hand at making honeycomb for the first time (and then a second time), and to learn to trust my gut when it comes to creating.
Fig and Honeycomb Ice Cream
Write a review
For the Honeycomb
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tbsp baking soda
For the Ice Cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp of water, divided
- 1 heaping pint of figs, stems removed and quartered
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups honeycomb
For the Honeycomb
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper
- In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, mix together the honey and sugar
- Turn heat to medium and allow sugar to melt and boil, turning into a darker amber color, swirl the pan now and then to make sure it melts evenly
- Once it begins to darken and all the sugar has melted remove from heat and whisk in baking soda, it will foam up right away so whisk quickly
- Carefully pour into lined pan and keep at room temperature to harden (about and hour)
- Once set, remove parchment from pan and break honeycomb into as large or small pieces as desired
For the Ice Cream
- While the honeycomb sets, place a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer
- In a large saute pan, mix together the sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water
- Over medium heat, bring it to a boil
- Once boiling immediately remove from heat and add in quartered figs and 2 more tablespoons of water
- Switch heat to low-medium and allow it to simmer 15 minutes, where the figs will break down and become more jam like
- Once broken down, add in butter and mix in until fully melted, remove from heat
- Place a sieve over a bowl, carefully pour figs into sieve and using a spatula or wooden spoon press the figs through the sieve, keeping most of the seeds and skins in the sieve and leaving only a smooth puree in the bowl
- Allow the puree to cool completely, you may place it in the fridge to speed up the process
- Once cooled, remove bowl and whisk attachment from freezer and whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla and fig puree
- Fold half of whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture
- Take the milk and cream mixture and fold into the remaining whipped cream
- Carefully fold until almost no white streaks remain, pour in broken-up honeycomb
- Fold until all is just combined and then pour into a loaf pan
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and allow to set in freezer overnight before enjoying
- *to avoid sugar crystals burning on the side of the pan you can wet the tip of a pastry brush and brush the crystals down into the mixture
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/
I burnt my first batch of honeycomb. Like any type of candy, it’s finicky, it’s tricky, and you have to watch it and trust when it’s time to take it off the heat. I used a candy thermometer the first time and when it reached the correct temperature, it was already too far gone. I would recommend trusting yourself, and watching the color turn instead of staring at the thermometer. Second time around it was perfect.
The inspiration came from my time in Italy this January. I had caramelized fig gelato and it was one of the most delicious things I ate on my trip. The flavor was so clear without being overpowering. I knew at some point I’d have to recreate it in my own way.
The more I bake and create new recipes like this, the more I learn to trust my gut. Initially, I was going to press the figs into sugar, caramelizing them individually (see above), and mix that into the ice cream. But when I thought about it logistically; of course I didn’t want all the skins in there, and that wouldn’t create the overall fig flavor I was looking for. So it was time to change gears, which is how I came to the conclusion of caramelizing them together and letting them break down, treating it as I would any fruit puree I’ve made in the past. Make it as smooth as possible. I’m glad I took the risk and changed my game plan, because it ended up being exactly what I wanted. And the freezer softens the honeycomb, making it easy to eat in the ice cream, while still adding texture and flavor to it. When I finally tried some myself, it was exactly what I had hoped for.
Who says ice cream can’t be enjoyed all year round? Just change up the flavors to embrace the season!