FIG chocolate PORT nutty Ice Cream

As Summer-like days are quickly fleeting...
I felt a refreshing farewell needed to be
shared with this decadent ice-cream treat.

This incredibly easy and modified recipe revealed
the essence behind the very creamy, rich and eggless ice-cream.

The delicious and very anticipated result came out of a...
no-churn...no-fuss...and machine-free method.

Fresh, aromatic figs were sprawled on my kitchen counter
from a satisfactory shopping spree at our farmer's market. 

would all be blended together with a
spirited touch of PORT wine.

Having these great ingredients on hand could have
accompanied those figs in a number of recipes.

However, an incredible laziness had set in that day...
and I figured that maybe I'd make something great the next day?

FIG and NUT torte cake and Gluten Free

An irritating voice kept squealing at me...
"the figs are fresh today".
What a sweet pest I can be at times...LOL
Thankfully, I always seem to have some notion that
anything can be pulled off with a tiny bit of enthusiasm.

Although I was tired that day...
I couldn't help the guilty thoughts of not doing something special with those figs.
I still had a bitter-sweet chocolate bar in the pantry waiting for the next dessert.

So, what was holding me back?
Did I mention, I felt tired and admittedly somewhat lazy?
There, I said it. 
Lazy is usually not an adjective that follows me around.
That day, I was feeling it in spades.

As I was trying to unwind and practicing to relax...
a swirling thought kept nagging at me...

the refreshing taste of delicious ice cream with figs.

That, my Foodie friends is what it generally takes
to give me strength to get back into my kitchen ;o)
I'm such a sucker for dessert as well as seeing a smile on
Sushi's face when he anticipates my next concoction.

I remembered reading about a tested eggless, no-churn ice-cream technique from
one of my favourite go-to sites on Cook's Country at America's Test Kitchen.

I quickly went to my computer to find the recipe and there it was.
My experimental kitchen witchery to make ice-cream
without machine was brightening my day once more.
ATK had worked out a great no-churn, no-fuss technique
 with the simple flavour of vanilla ice-cream.

With my general sluggish demeanour...this recipe was right up my alley.

In general, a plain vanilla or chocolate flavour would be fine...
however, other tasty ingredients were waiting to be
scientifically manipulated in my kitchen lab as well.

Slowly, I started getting the feeling that this recipe, along
with a few changes and add-ins were going to lead me to
the path of yet another delectable frozen treat.

Now, both my energy and excitement were kicking again.

According to a great tip I read from ATK...
the magic that happens with this technique is partly due to the use of...
sweetened condensed milk which renders a creamier texture and
gave silkier results as well as helping to prevent that pesky crystallization.
The whipped cream is used to eliminate the need for churning while adding
the required airiness which a machine would otherwise incorporate.

For this time, I grabbed the lonely emergency can of sweetened condensed milk.
It had been gathering dust in my pantry and waiting for me to get lazy.
However, if you have a chance to make your own...
sweetened condensed milk...give this homemade recipe
a try next time:
Slowly heat by simmering 1 cup (250ml) of whole milk and sweetener until it has reduced by 50% 

OR 1 cup (250ml) of evaporated milk to be reduced by 60% and then add the desired amount of sugar.
Depending on the sweetness I need for a recipe...

I'll usually dissolve about 1/2 to 1 cup (125ml-250ml) of organic sugar into the milk while reducing.
Many other versions do exist where at times powdered milk and much more sugar is incorporated.

Use your judgement and searching skills to find the right recipe for you.    

As much as I've enjoyed making my past machine-free ice-creams...
this technique of no churning has newly acquired...
my vote on best method to date.

The mix got made...poured into the container...
and then straight into the freezer it went.
Yes, just as the folks at ATK promised...
no churning...no machine...no fuss.

FIG chocolate PORT nutty
ice cream
makes about 6 cups (1.5 liters)


(American / Metric measures)

Fig mix:
. 8 medium, fresh figs *...[yields 1-1/2 cups (360ml)]
. 2 Tbsp. (30ml) aged Port wine
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) Vodka
. 1 tsp. (5ml) orange blossom water (optional)

Ice cream mix:
. 1/2 cup (150ml) sweetened condensed milk
. 1 tsp. (5ml) almond extract
. pinch of sea salt
. 1/4 cup (60ml) 'Greek-style' yogurt ** (or sour cream)
. 1-1/4 cup (300ml) heavy 35% whipping cream

. 1/4 cup (90g) roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
. 1/4 cup (90g) bitter-sweet 65-70% chocolate, coarsely chopped

* In this recipe the 'Calimyrna' (a.k.a. Californian) figs with the greenish-yellow skin and cream colored flesh were used. Therefore, the pink-purplish color of a 'Mission' type figs would not appear in this particular gelato. This, however could be another alternative.  Feel free to experiment with all types of figs.
** 'Greek-style' yogurt which is strained 3 times is a great substitute for sour cream.  Not only does it have less saturated fat and calories, it renders the same rich and thick creaminess.  In addition, the health factor is heightened by active bacterial cultures (probiotics).  Greek yogurt is also higher in protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt.


...Fig mix - maceration:
. In a medium bowl...peel and mash the figs.  Pour the Port wine and Vodka...as well as the optional orange blossom water.  Give it a good stir and set it aside by covering it up for a minimum of 30 minutes. This can be prepared ahead of time up to a full day.
...Making the ice-cream base:
. In a small-medium bowl...pour the sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high for about 30 seconds.  After giving it a quick stir, let it cool at room temperature.
. Once cooled to the touch, add the almond extract, salt and yogurt.
...Whipping the heavy cream to add to the base:
. In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream with the help of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until you've reached soft peaks. This should not take longer than 3 minutes...therefore, careful not to over beat the cream.
. In order to get a fluffy light texture...fold in a little bit of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.  Now, take this mix to slowly fold and blend it into the whipped cream a little at a time until well incorporated.
. Once the cream mix is well blended...fold in the Port macerated figs and add-ins such as the nuts and chocolate.
. Pour into airtight containers (2 separate are best) and place at the back of the freezer for at least 4-5 hours depending on your freezer's intensity.
. If planning to have the ice cream other than that same day...it is best to add a piece of parchment paper directly touching the ice-cream surface.  Store in the freezer for no more than 2-3 weeks.
. Remember...because there are no preservatives in this recipe...it is highly suggested to transfer the ice cream to the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.  This lapse of time varies according to the size of your chosen container.
. Something important to keep in mind: Try not to repeatedly soften and re-freeze the ice cream because eventually the smaller ice crystals will become clumps of undesirable ice cream.

The exhilarating result is a...
richly smooth, delectable and refreshing ice-cream.

This gelato platter was enhanced by slices of...
 Dried FIGS bathing in PORTO
...along with sweet savoury pecans and cashews.

Whether this decadent frozen treat is made in
an ice cream machine or by this very simple method...
I can assure you that you'll experience the same
amazing results of delightful spoons of blissful joy.

Flavourful and refreshing wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.