Fresh Fig Ice Cream – The New Taste of Summer

Fresh Fig Ice Cream in Bowl

This feature is sponsored by KitchenAid, who is letting us play every day in the TasteSpotting kitchen with a stand mixer and a full suite of stand mixer attachments.

My childhood is full of fond memories of eating ice cream. Every summer my dad would drag his old crate of an ice cream maker out from the storage closet and start whipping up batch after batch of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate chip, and my favorite, mint chip, for my older brothers and me.

The constant whirring of the machine and mess in the kitchen used to drive my mom crazy, but I grew to love awakening to the racket in the morning.

“Is it ready yet, Daddy?” I’d squeal as I stood watching the the whirlpool of heavy cream, sugar and eggs churning away in the mixer.

“Not yet!” He’d respond time and time again throughout my persistent inquisition.

I was always rewarded for my patience, however. When the ice cream was finally done, I was the one who got to lick the long metallic blades of the maker. My mom would cover the patio table and chair with towels, and I’d sit there licking and licking until every corner of the beater (and inside of the ice cream barrel) was licked clean. This also meant that I would inevitably emerge from the patio covered in sticky patches of cream.

This was another reason my mom hated it when my dad made ice cream.

At some point during my high school years, the maker conveniently went missing and, sadly, was never recovered or replaced. The whirring stopped. The mornings my mom spent hiding out in her bedroom while my dad took over the kitchen ceased to exist. And the licking of the maker blades halted with it. My brothers and I grew up, moved out and time slowly dulled our interest in the summertime ritual of eating homemade ice cream.

When I discovered that my KitchenAid® stand mixer had an ice cream maker attachment, however, my interest in the ritual reawakened.

Ice cream maker

I felt like a little girl again as I contemplated all the different flavors I could make. Should I start with salted caramel? The mint chip that I loved so much as a child? Then, one morning when I was wandering around the farmer’s market inhaling all the fragrant summer produce that was peppering the air like potpourri, I found my answer.


Fresh Black Mission Figs

Cut figs

And, when I paged through David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop later that afternoon, I found my recipe.

Despite my apprehension about taking over the reigns from my dad, the KitchenAid® mixer did most of the work for me. After freezing the bowl attachment overnight, I set about making my base. Supple black mission figs were turned into a thick syrupy jam, heavy cream and a touch of lemon juice were added, and then I blended the ingredients together using my KitchenAid hand immersion blender. Once the base had chilled, I deposited it into the mixer freeze bowl — directly over the whirring dasher attachment that, incidentally, didn’t make much of a whirring sound at all.

Fig Jam

Blended Ice Cream

There was no need for me to stand impatiently over the maker waiting and waiting and waiting for my sweet afternoon snack to finally be done. It took only 30 minutes for my fig ice cream to reach the desired consistency. I smiled as I thought about how many of my mom’s headaches could have been avoided had my dad used the KitchenAid® attachment instead of his clanky monstrosity.

Fig ice cream in maker

Even though the dasher attachment is a third of the size of the metal blade from my dad’s old fashioned maker, I still relished every lick it took to clean off the sweet purple cream. If I closed my eyes I could almost feel the rough threads of the towels under my skinny five-year-old legs and the summer breeze tickling my blond hair. But this ice cream — thick, lush, redolent with the flavor of fresh figs — was nothing like the mint chip that captured my heart as a child.

Dasher with ice cream

In my grown up mind, it’s the new taste of summer.

And the soft patter of the dasher in the KitchenAid® ice cream maker is the new sound I’ll look forward to (barely) hearing in the morning.
Fresh Fig Ice Cream Scoop

Fresh Fig Ice Cream in Bowl

Fresh Fig Ice Cream Recipe

From David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop


2 lbs fresh figs (about 20)
½ cup of water
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
¾ cup of sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
½ teaspoon of freshly squeezed, lemon juice, or more to taste


Remove the hard stem ends from the figs, then cut each fig into 8 pieces. Put the figs in a medium, nonreactive sauce pan with the water, and zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes until the figs are tender.

Remove the lid, add the sugar and continue to cook until it reaches a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend together with cream and lemon juice, chill in the fridge and then put in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Things We Used to Make Fresh Fig Ice Cream:

5 More Ways to Do Figs and Ice Cream with a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer + Ice Cream Maker Attachment:

  • Fresh Fig Ice Cream
  • Ice Cream with Fresh Figs
  • Ice Cream with Fig Compote

by diana on July 18, 2010 · 17 comments

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

ravenouscouple July 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

fig ice cream was totally on our minds! this looks fantastic..nice job.


Yutters July 19, 2010 at 10:18 am

I love ice cream tales. I hope you saved me some ice cream. This looks lucious!


SinoSoul July 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

I feel very sinful licking the dasher, but also extremely wasteful if I don’t. It’s a conundrum. Did you re-freeze after churning?


diana July 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Hong & Kim – Thanks! Your grapefruit gelato sounds like it would be amazing too!

Yuts – There may be a spoonful or two left… ;)

Tony – I did re-freeze after churning. I froze it overnight, but imagine it would only need a few hours to reach a more ice cream like consistency. It was more like soft-serve straight out of the mixer.


Grace July 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Your reminiscing actually brought a tear to my eye, missing my Dad and all our little rituals. It’s funny how things transport you in time to special times shared. My Dad loved figs, I remember he would sit at the table and cut the fruit (any fruit) one piece for me and one piece for him. When my children were born he and my Mom cared for them when I was working, I remember coming home from work and walking in the house and there at the table was my Dad, cutting fruit one piece for Liana, one for Matt and one for him.

Thanks for sharing your precious story!


diana July 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Grace – Thank you for sharing YOUR story! It sounds like your dad was an incredible guy and that you have some wonderful memories of him.


stephanie July 28, 2010 at 7:43 am

i have a fig tree in my backyard and have been collecting recipes to make once they are ripe; this just moved to the top of my list!


roni jaco August 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I am excited I found your blog and this ice cream recipe. the bowls mentioned in the apartment Therapy piece that included your blog with the fig ice cream and the kitchenAid are from my website the loaded trunk.My daughter just called me telling me she just got a kitchen aid, is an ice cream freak and happens to be in California this week where they are falling from trees! I love your story and think it is just great, we love rituals and can’t wait to make this one of ours.


roni jaco August 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

We were featured together on the Apartment Therapy the Kitchn. I posted a link to my blog on my webite where I took your lovely story and fig ice cream recipe and used it! I hope it gets back to your blog and I can’t wait until my daughter makes this ice cream for me! Yummy!


Jeanette August 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Any gluten free recipes?


Sylvia September 3, 2010 at 9:14 am

Hi, my name is Sylvia and I came across your blog when I was researching how to make homemade honey roasted peanut butter (because my own experiment making that didn’t turn out so well yesterday). I saw this little topic up at the top of the webpage and thought, “Omigod, fig ice cream?! Could I have finally found a recipe that uses all the figs in my backyard?!” That ice cream looks absolutely delicious and best of all, it doesn’t even take that much work at all. :)


Alison August 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

such nice rhetoric. Thank you for sharing your recipe and it’s sources. Best,


Su- September 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Thanks so much! This is an awesome recipe – just tasting it :))


Tim December 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

I can’t read any the comments above, I only see the names and the dates they were posted. I tried it in Google Chrome and Firefox so it doesn’t appear to be an issue with my computer.



doesthebellyrulethemind September 10, 2012 at 4:31 am

I had White Chocolate and Fig sorbet in Rome, more like ice cream than sorbet. It was superb. It’s in the rough guide’s top ten ice cream places in Rome, if I get time (unlikely) I will search the address.
Just getting back in to ice cream making, after a 15 year absence. Made Blackberry, last week. Superb flavour two much moisture, icy result.
Thinking of roasting figs with honey, to make ice cream. Any comments welcome. That said I am also looking at Gordon’s just desert book for ideas.


doesthebellyrulethemind September 10, 2012 at 4:32 am

Your ice cream looks very nice.


Gia September 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

Whenever I make recipe from websites and blogs I don’t usually hesitate to give compliments but when the recipe doesn’t turn out well I also make it known.
Unfortunately your recipe didn’t work for me. It didn’t have a nice taste, it’s missing something. All my delicious and expensive 2 lbs of figs when to garbage with this recipe since no one at home wants to eat this ice cream.
Oh well the search continues for the perfect recipe. :/
Good job on the pictures though! They made the ice cream look so yummy and this is why I decided to use your recipe!


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