This dish of the fig series was my favorite surprisingly. I say this because I hardly thought anything exciting of poached figs. But what I underestimated was how the tangy creme fraiche ice cream would pair up with the warm soft figs and the perfectly complementary port syrup. I absolutely love creme fraiche in or paired with dessert because the tang cuts through some the sweetness and balances it out. This is exactly what happened with the warm slightly spiced port syrup and the creamy tangy creme fraiche ice cream. Loved the combination.
Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
recipe from Epicurious
1 cup half and half
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 cup crème fraîche
Combine half and half and cream in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and yolks in large bowl until thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Gradually beat in warm cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on spoon when finger is drawn across, about 6 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Cool 15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Whisk in crème fraîche. Cover and chill custard until cold, about 3 hours.
Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to covered container. Freeze until firm.
*I used only heavy cream for the base instead of the mix with the half-and-half.
Figs Poached in Port
recipe from Sara’s Secrets
3 cups tawny port
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (3-inch) strips orange peel
8 whole black peppercorns
12 black mission figs, ripe yet firm
Combine the port sugar, vanilla pods and seeds, cinnamon, orange peel and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer until the liquid has the consistency of a light syrup, about 20 minutes. You will have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add the figs and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the figs in the syrup. Serve the figs in a bowl with their juices spooned over.
*I used ruby port because that’s what I had at home.