Fresh figs are a pleasure in themselves and creating an elegant dessert to complement their sweetness is even better. Many poaching recipes dictate what kind of wine to use, but this recipe is quite adaptable to whatever white wine you personally like to drink or have on hand. I happened to have pinot grigio in my wine fridge, so that is what I used. Spices are also adaptable. I had cinnamon and cardamom on hand, but star anise and ginger would be lovely as well.

Makes 8 servings


Honey Ice Cream

  • 2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (183 grams) honey
  • 4 egg yolks (74 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Poached Figs

  • 2 cups white wine (470 grams)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 two-inch strips fresh lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 8 large, fresh purple figs (320 grams)


Make the Ice Cream:

  1. Place the egg yolks and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk to break up.
  2. Heat the cream, milk and honey in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Stream some of the mixture into the eggs a little bit at a time, whisking to temper the eggs.
  3. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture hits 170or it coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, strain over another medium sized bowl and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold, overnight or about 4 to 6 hours.
  6. To churn the ice cream, follow the directions on your ice cream maker. Once the mixture is soft serve stage, put into an airtight container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Poach the Figs:

  1. Combine the wine, sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon stick and cardamom in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the figs and return to a simmer, cover, and poach until the figs are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer figs and syrup to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Figs can be stored in the refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Plate the Dessert:

  1. Scoop the ice cream into individual serving dishes.
  2. Slice the figs in half, placing two halves into each serving dish and drizzle with some of the poaching liquid.
  3. Alternatively, a shared platter alternating ice cream scoops and figs can be served. Serve immediately either way.


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AnnMarie Mattila
AnnMarie Mattilahttps://pastryathome.com
AnnMarie Mattila is a writer for Pastry Arts Magazine, as well as a freelance baker and pastry chef in New York. She has a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University and is also a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education.

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