Ice Cream Contest Entrant #1: Faith’s Honey Ice Cream with Fig-Sesame Swirls

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Entrant #1: Honey Ice Cream with Fig-Sesame Swirls

Inspiration: “I was inspired by my favorite honey ice cream, the mounds of fresh black figs at the produce stand, and my favorite fig jam and how good it is stirred into yogurt with toasty, crunchy seeds in every bite.”

Quote from her friend, Joel: “I found it a confectionary treat!”

Click through below for the recipe.

Honey Ice Cream with Fig-Sesame Swirls

For the Honey Ice Cream
(Based on a Patricia Wells recipe, with changes to amounts and flavorings)

1 vanilla bean
Zest of one lemon, in large strips
3 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey

1. Flatten the vanilla bean and slit down the middle. Scrape up the seeds with the knife.
2. Put seeds, vanilla pod, lemon zest, 2 cups of cream, milk and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the honey is dissolved.
3. Continue heating until the mixture has just begun to simmer.
4. Take off the heat and let steep for about an hour.
5. Add remaining cup of cream.
6. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight, until mixture is thoroughly chilled.
7. Strain out vanilla pod and lemon zest before freezing.

For the Fig-Sesame Jam
(Based on an Epicurious recipe, with changes to amounts and flavorings)

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water, divided
2 lb firm-ripe fresh figs, trimmed and cut into small pieces
2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 cup sesame seeds

1. Toast sesame seeds in a heavy pan over medium heat until they are a shade darker. Set aside to cool.
2. Simmer sugar and 1 cup of water in a large heavy saucepan, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.
3. Gently stir in figs, zest, and lemon juice and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy. Depending on the size of your pan and heat level this could take just under an hour or twice that long.
4. As the jam becomes, well, jam-like, check the consistency. If it seems very thick and chunky, stir in a little of the remaining water. You want a syrupy consistency that looks like it could stream.
5. Gently stir in sesame seeds.
6. Keep jam warm.

To assemble the final product
1. Have a 2-quart bowl ready, with lid and plastic wrap.
2. Freeze the honey mixture in the ice cream maker for at least 20 minutes
or until it looks frozen and partially aerated.
3. Pour half the jam into a measuring cup or bowl. With the ice cream maker still running, slowly stream the jam into the ice cream, using a fork to drop in fig chunks. The ice cream will start to melt a bit from the hot jam.
5. Run the ice cream maker for a couple minutes more then pour the ice cream into the waiting bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and lid and freeze for at least two hour before serving.
6. Serve on its own – no garnish or sauce, which would be just too much. The ice cream is rich but not too sweet, with chewy chunks of fig, like sweet caramel, and toasty sesame seeds speckled through every bite.
7. You will have leftover jam and it will keep, covered in the fridge, for a month or two – if you can keep your hands off it that long.