Fig & Goat Cheese Swirl Ice Cream

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love fresh figs. Rather than just devouring them all as soon as I buy them, I’m trying to experiment with them in a lot more of my cooking this season (stay tuned for more figgy foods!), and if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that if there is any one thing I have to do with any fruit, its make it into an ice cream. I’ve also been interested in how wonderfully figs pair with a variety of cheeses, so I thought I’d also experiment with another somewhat exotic ice cream flavor that caught my eye. So today, two ice creams for the price of one, swirled together in delicious harmony: Fig & Goat Cheese!

I imagine this flavor might perk up a few (skeptical) eyebrows, but that’s fine by me–more ice cream for me! I was in love with this. Firstly, my love for goat cheese is no secret. Secondly, have you ever tried fresh figs with goat cheese (or any cheese, for that matter? Parmigiano Reggiano? Stilton? You’ve got options)? Its a simple but absolutely wonderful flavor pairing. And thirdly? Oh come on, its ice cream! The goat cheese ice cream on its own is very thick, rich, and has that distinct tang (albeit, a bit milder than straight goat cheese) you only get from goat cheese. The fig ice cream has a delightful color (palish pink to deep purple, depending on the fig variety you use–and speaking of pink colored foods, I’m submitting this to Power of Pink hosted by Beantown Baker), the light crunch of the little seeds, and that vibrant, honeyed, sweetness all we fig-lovers crave. Together, it wasn’t just the usual fig & goat cheese but it was still awesome.

I prepared the two ice cream flavors separately as I didn’t want their distinct flavors to get lost in each other, so I prepared both the fresh fig and the goat cheese ice cream as per David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, swirling them together when both went into the freezer. Whip up a batch before fig season is over so you can keep enjoying a little bit of fig season from your freezer to hold you over until next year!

  • Goat Cheese Ice Cream
    • 1.5 cups whole milk
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 8 oz goat cheese
    • 6 egg yolks
  • Fresh Fig Ice Cream
    • ~2 lbs fresh figs
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 lemon
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup heavy cream

Begin with the figs. Slice off and discard the stems and then cut each fig into eighths. Put the fig pieces in a saucepan with the water and lemon zest. Cover the pan and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Once time is up, add the sugar, stirring and cooking for several more minutes until the mixture thickens up to a jam-like texture.

While the figs are still hot, carefully transfer this to your food processor and puree. Let this sit to cool back to room temperature.

Now, on to the goat cheese ice cream. In a saucepan, scald the milk and sugar. While that warms up, beat the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer until they lighten in color. Also, crumble the goat cheese in a bowl and set it aside with a strainer set up on top.

Once the milk is thoroughly warmed, temper the yolks with some of the hot milk and then transfer the yolk mixture into the warm saucepan. Stir and scrape constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Once the custard is cooked through, pour it through the strainer (to catch any scrambled bits of egg) onto the goat cheese crumbles.

Keep stirring the custard and goat cheese so as to gradually melt the cheese (did you know that shocking/over-heating cheese can cause it to seize up? Sort of like improperly melting chocolate). The mixture should become thick and silky smooth. Once it is, set this bowl in an ice bath to prevent the custard from cooking any further in all of its own residual heat. After a few minutes in the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap and set this aside in the fridge until thoroughly chilled for a few hours.

Now, back to the cool fig mixture. Squeeze in the juice of half of your zested lemon (or more, to taste), pour in the cream, and pulse it until well mixed in your food processor. Pour this in a bowl, cover, and let it thoroughly chill in the fridge for a few hours.

So now, both of the custards should be thoroughly chilled. Following the directions for your ice cream maker, churn each (separately) for 20 minutes and transfer them to the freezer.

Once both are churned, swirl them together right away before they fully firm up in the freezer (if you’re going for the swirly look, its a lot easier to pull off while the ice cream is still relatively soft). Let this sit in the freezer for several hours (I just do overnight). Serve a scoop with whatever catches your fancy–balsamic syrup, toasted walnuts, honey, or simply, none other than a fig. Whatever you do, enjoy!

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42 Responses to “Fig & Goat Cheese Swirl Ice Cream”

  1. clumbsycookie Says:

    What a great idea Mike! Doing the 2 ice creams separate and swirling them after must have kept their personality, but then together they must turn into something realy special! I love it! Plus the 2 colors look very pretty in the scoops!

  2. sunita Says:

    That is such a pretty looking icecream…the flavours must have been amazing…love both figs and goats cheese :-)

  3. Bellini Valli Says:

    You are always so creative with your ice cream combos Mike…very lucky family you have there:D

  4. Ivy Says:

    You really, really know how to make ice creams Mike. You should write a book on ice creams.

  5. Meeta Says:

    I love figs too, that is why we think alike and post fig recipes on the same day! This thing we share is eerie – remember the mango nutella pancake coincidence?

    Figs and goat cheese ice cream is a unique take on serving ice cream. I am loving this Mike!

  6. Jeff Says:


    Awesome idea and awesome execution!

  7. Nicisme Says:

    Great combo there! I’ve made the fig one before, but not the other – looks wonderful!!

  8. Mansi Says:

    this looks divine Mike!! but its winter here, and you better not TEMPT me with all that delicious ice cream!!:)D

  9. Jan Says:

    Mmmm YUM! Double yum in fact – goats cheese and Ice cream!!

  10. Jan Says:

    Forgot to say – And figs too!!!

  11. Hélène Says:

    This is so interesting all the recipes that you are making. Myself I like warm figs with goat cheese as an appetizer.

  12. pam Says:

    If I had some fresh figs, I would definitely give this a try. I love the color swirl of your ice cream!

  13. Bunny Says:

    Now there’s a flavor I bet Ben and Jerry never thought of! You are very creative Mike!

  14. noble pig Says:

    Ummm, seriously, you hit the sweet spot. With goat even Oh ma gawd…can’t even imagine the flavors here…wowzer!

  15. Trisha Says:

    I just Googled “goat cheese fig ice cream” recipes and here you are! Nice timing. One of my favorite pairings in the world, and a natural choice for a cold, creamy confection. I’m excited to give this a try.

  16. Aparna Says:

    Love the colours and flavours in your ice-cream, Mike. Creative as usual, and I love your frozen dessrts.

  17. Peter Says:

    Mike, like Ivy said…you know ice cream…thought of opening a gelato stand?

  18. Y Says:

    Who doesn’t love a swirl ice-cream. This sounds so tasty, I wish I could have a spoonful!

  19. grace Says:

    it’s so pretty! by now you realize how sheltered i’ve been, so it should come to no surprise to hear that i’ve never had cheese as a component of ice cream. frankly, it looks irresistible.

  20. Deeba Says:

    Oh great to see the original ice-cream man in business again! Looks great…I love goat cheese anything too! Hope mum-to-be enjoyed it too! Cheers

  21. mikky Says:

    very intriguing… but i does look awesome!!! :)

  22. nina Says:

    This is an awesome combination Mike. I can just imagine the sensation to eat this!!!

  23. Jude Says:

    Interesting combo – So that’s how you make ice cream with more than one color. I ought to pull out the ice cream maker more often.

  24. the caked crusader Says:

    I never had goat’s cheese in anything but savoury dishes so am intrigued by this. Sounds like it might be delish! I’d take goat’s cheese intravenously if I could so I’m probably not that hard to convert to this way of using the cheese!!!!

  25. kittie Says:

    An inspired mix. Brave, but definitely inspired! 😉

  26. EAT! Says:

    I have loved cooking with fresh figs lately – but never did I think to put it in ice cream – with goat cheese. It looks amazingly beautiful. My kids have been begging for my to make homemade fig newtons. That will be my next cooking adventure with figs.

  27. Tartelette Says:

    I SO know I would SO love this!! Perfect Mike!

  28. Kevin Says:

    I would not have thought to use goat cheese to make ice cream.. I am going to have to try.

  29. brilynn Says:

    I loooove the sound of this ice cream! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  30. Maggie Says:

    I love the taste of uncultured goat’s milk ice cream but have never had goat’s cheese ice cream. It sounds fantastic with figs.

  31. Jen Says:

    This looks great. I’ve never had goat cheese ice cream…

    Thanks for participating in my event.

  32. Nazarina A Says:

    It is indeed a pleasure discovering you! ( Jen, Power of pink roundup). This culinary work of art induces no skepticism on my part. On the contrary I love being spoiled rotten by such exotics such as your chevre and fig ice cream !

  33. Top 10 Innovative Ice Cream Flavors | Listicles Says:

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  34. schafe ziegen Says:

    I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

  35. Jim Says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I modified it for dried figs due to being out of season and it came out great. My girlfriend blogged the modifications and gave you a reference. Thanks again!

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  40. Pearl Says:

    Hi Mike,
    Should it be 8oz or 4oz of goat cheese? I googled Lebovitz’ recipe, and it looks like he uses 4oz.
    Your Fig Goat Cheese ice cream looks beautiful swirled together!

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