Mascarpone Ice Cream With Caramelized Figs

Posted on by on May 31st, 2011 | 31 Comments »

It is summer already here in the Middle East. That means it’s hot. Not hot like you may think though; imagine if you lived on the surface of the sun. It’s hot like that. We are inching toward days of 105F and above with a strong desert sun and no shade anywhere, with lows in the middle of the night of 95F. Is this even normal to live in an almost uninhabitable climate? No, probably not. But, I do.

Sometimes ice cream is the only solace other than water during these hot summer months. Problem is this: you go to the macholet (bodega) and you pick an ice cream bar out of the freezer, you walk to the register to pay, you turn and open the ice cream eagerly awaiting the sweet cold creaminess and it’s melted. Already.  True story.

I thought that the only way to solve this problem was to make my own ice cream. So that is exactly what I did and I did it sans ice cream maker and it came out pretty good if I don’t say so myself. It was rich and creamy and perfect. Who needs an ice cream machine? (OK I do miss mine that’s back in the states, but still, who needs one?) Since this worked so well my husband and I have already been dreaming up different ice creams to make! Oh boy!

Green figs are in season in Be’er Sheva. When I first saw them I thought they were just unripe and then I felt one, it was very far from unripe. They are called Kadota figs and have a bright green outside with a rosy colored flesh and are not as sweet as your normal black mission fig.

I wanted to use the figs for something. Something good, something special since this Kadota fig season is very short. I thought about grilling them and stuffing them with mascarpone cheese. Yum. But I wanted ice cream and so going with the figs and mascarpone idea, mascarpone ice cream with caramelized figs was born.

I used David Lebovitz’s tips for making creaming ice cream without a machine and a basic vanilla ice cream recipe that I added mascarpone cheese to for a rich taste and thick creamy texture. The caramelized figs just complete this ice cream. It is perfect for the hot Be’er Sheva days ahead.


Ingredients (serves 4)

For ice cream:

1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/8 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
9 ounces mascarpone cheese

For caramelized figs:

3 Kadota figs, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter


Place the milk and vanilla in a sauce pan over a low heat and slowly bring it to a simmer then remove it from the heat.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined.
Add hot milk to egg mixture gradually and whisk until incorporated and smooth.
Return the mixture to saucepan and place it over a low heat
Cook while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon
When mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon remove from heat and cool completely.  (Be careful not to overheat the milk -you don not want to end up with scrambled egg bits!)
Meanwhile make the figs.
Place sugar and  lemon juice into a large pan with 1 tablespoon water.
Mix the sugar and liquid until mixture is like wet sand.
Cook over high heat until mixture boils.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until sugar starts to turn medium brown.
Remove from heat and add figs and 1 tablespoon water and stir.
Return pan to heat and cook over low heat until mixture is bubbling and figs start to break down, about 10 minutes.
Mix in butter and let cool.
When the ice cream mixture has cooled mix in the mascarpone cheese until combined.
Beat ice cream mixture with an electric hand mixer to combine throughly and get some air into the mixture.
Place mixture in a sealed container and place it in the freezer for 45 minutes then remove from freezer, mix in figs and any sauce in the pan.
Return to the freezer and take it out and stir it every 30 minutes for 2 hours. This mixing part is very important to get that creamy ice cream constancy. Mix ice cream very well to break up any ice crystals that are forming. You don’t want ice cream little bits of ice in it!
Freeze until ready to serve.


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  1. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    Mouthwatering ice cream beth, good for sunny day or summer night . I love the is so elegant and yummy.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Thanks Daksha. It is the perfect summer treat!

  2. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    Yummmmm – so excited to find a good recipe for making ice cream without an ice cream maker! I miss mine but you make it look totally doable. It is definitely ice cream season!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Katherine, there is plenty left. You have to come over and try some! I would bring some to you but it will melt before I make it to your house!

  3. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    SAVED!!! Ok… I come there and I cook for you and you for me!!!!! DEAL??? hehehe
    I am surely going to try this once summer is back. It looks sooooo creamy and delicious! I love green figs… that’s what we have in Sicily and I really miss the sweet ones you find there… ahhh memories! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Manu, it’s a deal!! Ill open a bottle of wine! I have never seen green figs until a week ago when I was in the market and spotted these! They are wonderful.

  4. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    you beat me to it! i also have ice cream on my to do list! yours looks super fantastic and i love the idea of figs! great job beth!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Thanks Bianca. There is always room for ice cream, I look forward to seeing the one you make!

  5. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    These green figs look amazing, especially those which have such a deep purple inside! This would make a great summer treat. 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Thanks chopinandmysaucepan! I love the green figs!!

  6. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    Well, after this recipe I can say that… I LOVE YOU (but don’t say it to my boyfriend)!
    This ice-cream is amazing! I can’t wait to try (but here it’s hard to find figs right now.. it’s too soon). I found another way to make ice-cream without ice-cream maker.. awesome!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 5-31-2011

      Hahaha your’e so funny Giulietta!! The ice cream is amazing!! The regular mission figs are later in the summer but the green ones are here now!! I need to find more things to make with them before the season is over, though Im sure this ice cream would be just as good with regular figs.

  7. Posted on: 5-31-2011

    Sounds super and it’s a great flavor combo; one that I would’ve never dreamed of. Thank you.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-2-2011

      Thanks Sandra! Mascarpone and figs are so great together!

  8. Posted on: 6-1-2011

    Beth Michelle, this sounds wonderful! I bet those caramelized figs were simply amazing! And I hear what you’re saying about ice cream being a solace!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-2-2011

      Thanks Tiffany! It is all about the caramelized figs!!

  9. Posted on: 6-1-2011

    Perfect for a hot day. Amazingly creamy for having been made without a machine. Nice work.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-2-2011

      Thanks Briarrose! I was also surprised at how creamy it was for ice cream with no machine!!

  10. Posted on: 6-1-2011

    Wow Beth! Your ice cream looks so yummy! Adding the caramelized figs is so unique and that’s so you! I love the whole dessert. I am thinking of buying an ice cream maker but my husband thinks our fridge is too big to store that machine box in freezer. Meanwhile you give me a hope that we can make ice cream without a machine. I’m a little envious that it’s already ice cream season for you. Here in SF, it’s raining, COLD, and no wonder I’m still sick! I want to fly over there….and eat this ice cream!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-4-2011

      Thanks Nami!! You totally dont need an ice cream maker!! I always thought it was a must but after making this, its so doable!! Dont be envious its ice cream season, summer here is brutal!!

  11. Posted on: 6-1-2011

    This is perfect for a fig lover!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-4-2011

      RLV, it is most definitely perfect for a fig lover!

  12. Posted on: 6-1-2011

    I think that’s the best ice cream i’ve seen lately! I don’t know how you got figs, here we don’t have them yet!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-4-2011

      Thanks Valerie!! The fruit seasons here are very different then most places. Our strawberry season is in the winter, passion fruit is in the fall and figs are now through the end of summer!

  13. Posted on: 6-2-2011

    The figs are just about ripe here too. They have two seasons, this first seasons figs are called brevas and they are green too. Mascarpone ice cream sounds amazing, with a little honey drizzled on I’d be in heaven!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-4-2011

      Natalie, honey would be amazing drizzled on this!! Im glad you mentioned that before its all gone 🙂

  14. Posted on: 6-4-2011

    Ice cream made with caramelized figs sounds wonderful. Good luck beating the heat!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 6-4-2011

      Thanks Beth!! I dont think there is anyway to beat the heat here in Be’er Sheva. It’s all about ice cream and air conditioning!!

  15. Posted on: 9-1-2011

    So that’s how you do it without an ice cream maker! Fascinating. I’ve always wondered how, and of course David would have the answers! 😉 Your recipe sounds amaaaaazing, by the way.

    I hope you managed to make it through the summer with lots of air conditioning and that the temps have come down a little bit? Maybe?

    I’m looking forward to visiting you more often. 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-1-2011

      Thanks Jen! David Lebovitz is the best! I was gone all summer in China (which is just as hot!) and it hasnt been toooo hot since I have been back in Israel though Im just waiting for the heat wave!!!

  16. Posted on: 1-21-2012

    Summer still has one month left here so I am afraid I might just have to taste this creamy ice cream 🙂

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