Fig and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

It’s been awfully quiet, lately. I’ve been having trouble sleeping for the past couple of weeks.  It might be that I’m trying to go to bed earlier (because I am), or it could be all the little things that I think about right before I doze off.

Lately, those little things have been more stressful than warranted. So I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been taking Advil PMs on the reg. In my defense, I was sick last week, but not sick enough to need Nyquil, so the PMs conquered headaches and helped me rest enough to get better.

It’s boot weather again, which means I’m drinking hot coffee. Today, I’ve been gulping it down like water.

For most of my life, I’ve ignored everything my body has hinted at me. You know, when it pokes you in the head and says “Hey — hey you. Sleep more. Drink less. Stop running.” Yeah, that. Anyway, that I ignore my body is not that hard to believe, because I’m fairly career-obsessed, and have, for the most part, worked for people and/or organizations that DGAF about health (or their own health, since they’ve generally guilted me go into the office, even with the plague).

Since that crazy relay race, I had been running on empty. And then, this company asked me to do some 48-hour immediate freelance work for them. How does one even try to say “no” to Google? And right then, I knew that my body would shut down. It was already lightly tapping me on the shoulder, giving me a choice between fame and a social life. I chose fame.

And just like that, I fell into a cold. I let nature win. I succumbed to the autumn, and spent the weekend bundled up inside and on the patio, since the clouds and the breeze suffered their own bouts of indecisiveness. The weather facilitated some pretty rain, and my female non-lesbian soul mate wowed us with a wintry dinner. And I’m checking this bookmark as much as my seven year-old brother checks the Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve.

I spent too much on flowers, ate too many bagels, and finished my freelance projects. Life is good, the food is hearty, and there is still room for dessert.

Fig and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Ingredients (note: measurements are more like rough estimates)
1/2 pound fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of water to a slow simmer. Add in the stemmed and quartered figs, the brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the figs start to break down and the mixture takes on a deep red color — this takes about 30 minutes.

At that point, using a slatted spoon, remove about half of the figs from the sauce, and set aside in a dish. You’ll want to use that as a topping, or swirl it in after the ice cream is done. Add the milk, cream and cinnamon to the saucepan, whisk vigorously, and bring to a boil.

When the mixture does boil, immediately remove from heat. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine your egg yolks with your sugar. We’re going to temper your eggs to create a custard.

Add some of the hot cream-fig mixture to your egg yolks and sugar, whisking vigorously. Start with a 1/4 cup, then slowly add more until it’s evenly mixed. When the tempered eggs are liquid enough, go ahead and throw them into the saucepan, and mix until even.

Let the custard chill completely, and then pour into your ice cream maker, according to its manufacturer’s instructions.