Toasted Fig Leaf Ice Cream
This is a delicious and delicately flavoured ice cream, which is made by making a light custard and churning in an ice cream maker.
10 young fig leaves, freshly picked, washed and dried
500ml whole milk
500ml double cream
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp best quality honey
5 egg yolks
Start by toasting the fig leaves. This can be done under a grill or using the flame on a gas hob. Toast the fig leaves carefully and briefly until they wrinkle and smell toasted. They will brown a little, but remove from the heat before they burn or turn too dark in colour. Set the leaves aside.
Take a large saucepan and add the milk, cream, sugar and honey. Warm gently over a moderate heat until the sugar dissolves. Crush the leaves into the mixture in the pan and leave to cool. When cool, put the mixture into the fridge and leave for at least an hour for the leaf flavour to infuse. This can be left for 24 hours if you have the time.
Next, carefully strain the mixture to remove all pieces of leaf from the liquid. Put the mixture into a pan and add the egg yolks. Gently warm, whisking carefully and frequently until the mixture thickens slightly. Sieve again, to remove any bits of egg or leaf that have been missed and leave to cool a little in a bowl.
When the mixture has cooled, put it into an ice cream maker and churn for 1-2 hours, depending on the machine. When it is cool, thickened and quite smooth, transfer to a plastic box and freeze for at least another hour before serving.
As always with homemade ice cream, it does need to come out of the freezer around 20 minutes before you want to scoop it, as it is much firmer than many commercial ice creams. It will keep for up to a month in a sealed box in the freezer.