Your First Ingredient
The first ingredient you will need to find is fresh fig leaves. Once I began talking about my discovery I was amazed to find out how many people have access to these, and I hope you’re one of them. Because once you discovery this recipe, you’ll be using them everywhere.
But right now I’m going to offer you a recipe for fresh fig leaf ice cream. Ice cream is one of my favorite foods; ask any of my students and they will tell you that ice cream was one of the favorite things they learned to make.
Fig Leaves are Generous
Back to fig leaves. I’ve dried, crushed, and sprinkled them over fresh goat cheese for years. It occurred to me that their hauntingly delicate flavor would be good in ice cream and guess what? It’s amazing. And they are so generous with their flavor that amazes too. Just pick a handful of leaves, rinse and pat them dry, then infuse milk and cream with them. Bingo! Fresh fig leaf flavor all over the place.
Beg Borrow Steal
Follow this simple recipe, which is your ticket to nirvana. You can use the fig leaves in your favorite panna cotta recipe too. If you need some help with that one, let me know. I’m here.
And if you don’t have a fig tree of your own, beg, borrow, steal a few leaves. Think about asking first….!
FRESH FIG LEAF ICE CREAM
2 vanilla beans
3/4 cup (150g) vanilla sugar
2-1/2 cups (750 ml) whole milk
1-1/2 cup (375ml) heavy cream
1/8th teaspoon fine sea salt
6 large, fresh leaves
1. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, to expose the fragrant and flavorful seeds. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds. Place the halved beans and seeds in a small saucepan, adding the remaining ingredients. Bring just to a simmer over moderate heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow the mixture to infuse for 2 hours.
2. Refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled.
3. At serving time, remove the halved vanilla beans from the liquid. Let dry at room temperature, then place in a jar of unrefined cane sugar to make vanilla sugar. Transfer the sorbet mixture to the ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
12 small servings