After a quick squizz on the internet to see if anyone else had done it (they had) it seemed that there were two main methods for preparing figs to be made into ice cream: cooking them in a pan, with some water and sugar to make a pulpy jam, or roasting them in the oven. I went for the roasting.
Once cooked, I blended the figs whole, so you do get the seeds speckling the custard mixture, but I think this actually looks better and tastes great, the tiny crunchy seeds adding to the texture as you eat. But you could always push the puréed figs through a fine sieve if you prefer your ice cream seedless. This ice cream is one of our new favourites - perfect for summer. Choose ripe figs for best results.
Honey-Roasted Fig Ice Cream
For the roasted figs:
300g ripe and ready to eat baby figs
2 x 15ml tbsp runny honey
For the custard:
200ml double cream
200ml full-fat milk
100g caster sugar
1 heaped tbsp runny honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 egg yolks
First, heat your oven up to 200ºC and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Take the stalks off the figs and then slice them into rounds, about half a centimetre thick. Arrange on the lined tray and drizzle with the honey. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until soft and jammy. Leave to cool completely.
For the ice cream's custard base, tip the cream and milk into a small saucepan and heat gently, being careful not to burn it. Quickly add the egg yolks to a mixing bowl and whisk them, along with the sugar until you get a thick, yellow paste. Stir in the vanilla and the 1 tbsp honey until smooth. Once the milk and cream mixture is steaming but not boiling, take it off the heat and pour it, still whisking, over the egg mixture. Keep whisking as you pour (do it in little sloshes if you don't have an extra pair of hands) and then return to the saucepan. Stir, keeping it on a gentle heat, until the mixture has thickened slightly and then pour back into the bowl.
Tip the roasted fig slices into the custard mixture and blitz with a hand-held blender until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight.
Once your ice ice cream mixture is completely cold, pour into the frozen bowl of an ice cream machine and churn for 25 minutes. Scrape into a freezable container and keep in the freezer until ready to eat.