The figs are in and they are plump and juicy! I just had some for lunch with prosciutto and Brie, my favorite summer lunch. I posted quite a few recipes for figs last year but I had not made this ice cream until last week. Crema catalana is perfect with figs and when you serve it as an ice cream... well judge for yourself! The mellow, almond flavor of Amontillado Sherry works especially well in this rich, creamy dessert.
Make the crema the day before and freeze overnight. It never works for me when I freeze just for a few hours.
The crema catalana ice cream can be accompanied with other fruits but in that case, I would omit the sherry.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
For ice cream
3 cups half-and-half
4-inch strip fresh lemon zest
4-inch strip fresh orange zest
1/2 cinnamon stick
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Amontillado Sherry
12 soft (moist) dried Calimyrna figs (10 oz), tough stems removed and figs halved lengthwise
1 cup Amontillado Sherry
1 cup fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons honey
Garnish: candied orange zest
Make ice cream:
Bring half-and-half with lemon and orange zests and cinnamon stick just to a boil over moderate heat. Cover and let stand off heat 25 minutes, then reheat to a simmer. Discard zests and cinnamon stick.
Whisk together yolks, sugar, and Sherry in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Transfer custard to cleaned saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat back of a wooden spoon and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F.
Pour custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and cover surface with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until thoroughly cold, about 3 hours, (I prefer to chill overnight to make sure!). Freeze in an ice-cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm.
Bring figs, Sherry, juice, and honey, covered, to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer, covered, just until figs are tender, about 40 minutes, then uncover and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Cool figs in syrup.
Serve ice cream with honeyed figs and syrup.
·Ice cream can be made 3 days ahead.
·You can also prepare figs 3 days ahead and chill, covered
Source & photo Gourmet 2000