no-churn fig + coffee ice cream with cacao nibs | the vanilla bean blog
no-churn fig + coffee ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
no-churn fig + coffee ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
It has always seemed strange to me…the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
-John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
no-churn fig + coffee ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
Recently Puro Fairtrade Coffee sent me a package that included some of their coffee. I love coffee, and since I have officially moved from ‘liking coffee’ to ‘needing coffee’ each and every morning (and um, afternoon, too), I was very happy to review theirs. I do put a lot of coffee into my body and have invested a lot of money over the years in buying it, so words like ‘fair trade’ and ‘organic’ are very important to me. But the sentence I loved in the email Puro sent me was: we also want to show other companies that people and planet are just as important as profit. Maybe there is a place for kindness and generosity after all.

(You can read more about Puro’s mission here. And, the coffee brews up dark, deep, and smooth. It also tastes amazing in ice cream.)
no-churn fig + coffee ice cream with cacao nibs | the vanilla bean blog

No-Churn Fig + Coffee Ice Cream with Cacao Nibs

Coffee and figs are a lovely flavor combination, and this ice cream balances them both well. When you add the compote to the ice cream, you can omit the fig pieces if you want a smoother texture. However, the figs are very soft, and cut into small pieces they really compliment the ice cream. The compote recipe has you cut the figs into quarters, however, I found them to be a little too large in the ice cream. I would suggest cutting them in half (into eights). The cacao nibs can be omitted, if desired. I did like their subtle crunch and slight bitter flavor. If you own a Pullman pan, this works nicely to freeze the ice cream in (plus it has a lid!) but otherwise a 9 x 5 loaf pan works great. And, instead of ‘rippling’ the compote in the ice cream on the last step, you can also just pour it over the top of a scoop of ice cream when it is served.

1 can [14 ounces] sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup fig compote (recipe follows)
1/2 cup strong cold coffee or cold press
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup cacao nibs

In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, fig compote, coffee, and cacao nibs.

With a standing mixer, whip the heavy cream on medium-high until soft peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the coffee-fig mixture. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the coffee-fig  mixture until incorporated. Pour into a loaf pan, and drizzle 1/4 cup fig compote over the top. Using a knife, gently ‘ripple’ the compote into the ice cream, making figure eights and swirls, until incorporated. Freeze until firm, 6 hours [or, covered, up to 1 week].

Fig Compote
from Good To The Grain, by Kim Boyce
(makes about 1 cup)

1/2 pound fresh, black mission figs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
good pinch of kosher salt

Preheat your broiler. Cut the stems off each fig, then slice them into quarters (see note).

Add the butter, brown sugar, and honey to a cast-iron pan (or a broiler safe pan). Cook for about 1 minute over high heat, stirring frequently, until syrup begins to bubble. Add the figs and stir them, coating them with the syrup.

Place your pan under broiler to caramelize the figs. Broil for about 5 minutes, swirling the pan a few times to keep the sugar from burning (make sure to use an oven mitt).  The figs are done when the syrup is thickened slightly and amber in color, and the edges of the figs are dark and glossy. Remove the pan and set aside to cool.
no-churn fig + coffee ice cream | the vanilla bean blog

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34 Responses to no-churn fig + coffee ice cream with cacao nibs

  1. I have been meaning to make some version of no-churn icecream for what feels like forever and I still haven’t gotten around to it. This may be that extra push I need to get my butt in gear!

  2. Yay! Now I know I’m not crazy in thinking that figs have a slight coffee flavor. Gorgeous photos and lovely words. 🙂

  3. ASHLAE says:

    I’ve been on the “need” coffee train for far too long, too 😉 But hey! Mornings (and afternoons) are so much better with a big cuppa nearby. Anyway, this no churn ice cream sounds delicious and is making me miss not being in the kitchen.

    PS – You have the best photos. The best.

  4. Kezia says:

    I’ve been cooking with figs this week as well! I love the look of this ice cream, and the fact that it is no-churn is a bonus too!

  5. I love (and make) coffee ice cream but have never tried it with fig. As luck would have it I was given some figs this week from a friends tree so better get to making this!

  6. Rochelle says:

    I keep hoping that my figs will ripen on the tree so I can get so more use out of them before the season is done! This is on my top of my to do list, what with all the late summer heat that seems to be lingering around this year!

  7. I love the flavor combination of figs and coffee. And that in an ice cream? Yes! I also love the fact that one doesn’t need an ice cream maker to make this recipe as I still dream about owning one. Maybe I’ll buy one for Christmas… Until that I’m gonna treat myself with this deliciousness.

    Have a lovely fall weekend,

  8. Sophia says:

    Absolutely love these photos and besides the photos, you had me at ‘no churn’ ice cream. More and more I make no churn ice cream – I like it for its ease (and texture wise I can’t detect much difference to the ice cream I make in my little machine). Also, figs and coffee sound wonderful – I have been experimenting a bit with coffee and fruit recently, and prunes and coffee work well so I can imagine that figs and coffee work well too!

    Glad you found a fairtrade coffee you liked – given my coffee consumption I went through a phase of trying various fairtrade ones to see whether my coffee budget could not be spent more conscientiously, but had to give up eventually as I just could not find one I liked!

  9. Oh my, this flavour combination is a thing of my dreams!

  10. Gotta try this combination! Maybe I can eat this in lieu of an afternoon cup of coffee??

  11. a very thought provoking steinbeck quote… combined with very lovely looking photos of ice cream innocence (love the little hand grabbing the fig and holding a cone). beautiful photos and the recipe sounds great! your little monkeys must have diverse palettes!

  12. This sounds completely divine. What an incredible combination.

  13. […] fall treats like these pumpkin buttermilk donuts with maple syrup and cinnamon and sugar topping, this ice cream (just papa, i’m still off ice cream, maybe a taste for zelda) and this soup. we’ll […]

  14. Natasha says:

    I am definitely on the “need” side of coffee drinking too. I also happen to really enjoy it. Meticulously making my coffee is one of my favorite morning rituals. This ice cream sounds fantastic. I still haven’t tried the no churn method. I really need to get on it!

  15. Looks and sounds divine. Love no churn ice cream 🙂

  16. I will eat anything with figs. Thanks for this recipe – I don’t have an ice cream maker (yet) and it’s going on my to-make list!

  17. Kathryn says:

    Coffee and fig sounds like a wonderful combination, especially with the crunch of cocoa nibs in there too. Beautiful as always Sarah.

  18. Kasey says:

    Figs and coffee sound like a magical combo. I love the light and colors of your photos!

  19. Jacqui says:

    I’ve never made a no churn ice cream before, but it looks so rich and creamy! Love the addition of figs too!

  20. The combination sounds divine, haven’t tried figs and coffee before!

  21. em says:

    I would have never paired coffee + figs together but after reading this post I can see how the sweetness of the fig could potentially cut through the bitterness of coffee and actually taste pretty darn good.

    I think every person always remembers vividly that moment when they went from wanting to needing coffee, i’m always dubious as to whether the shift was for the best…

  22. Tina Jui says:

    Amazing pictures! I never though about fig + coffee. But I love both, so I cannot wait to try it together. Always looking for things to make with coffee in it too – happy I found your post 🙂

  23. […] make it without churning it.  As my way of apologizing, I present to you a fantastic-looking no-churn fig coffee ice cream by Sarah at The Vanilla Bean Blog — another wonderful flavor combo and a recipe that only […]

  24. coffee. figs. NIBS. my favorite things. i never even thought to combine those three flavors, but what a great idea it is! sounds and looks decadent. i’ll be doing this w/ heavy coconut cream bc i’m dairy free (although i WISH i could do it with heavy cream and condensed milk!).

  25. thank you to wit & delight to introducing me to your truly delightful world here. i love how honest and heartfelt your about page is, and it only makes me want to read + see + visit more. beautiful in every way.

  26. Jessica says:

    I am absolutely smitten with your blog, such beautiful pictures and stories!

    Figs and coffee are definitely a unique and exciting flavor for ice cream; definitely worth trying when figs are in season. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  27. sabine says:

    I am so happy to have finally found your numerous ice cream recipes I don´t need an ice cream maker for! I´ve been trying some others lately, but so far, nothing deserved to be called “real” ice cream…. I´m gonna roll up my sleeves now and start my way through your recipes! Great!

  28. Mackenzie M. says:

    Yum! I have never made homemade ice cream but I would love to try. Coffee ice cream is one of my favorites and I can only imagine how good it would be with figs! Can’t wait to try this one.

  29. Kris says:

    Ok so I FINALLY made this after seeing the recipe for the first time months ago! I live in Canada where if you succeed in finding fresh figs in a grocery store, $1 a piece for a fig of questionable quality is pretty standard. Luckily I am spending time in France right now and a dozen fresh figs can be had for 1.80 Euros, so I am eating as many as possible!! The ice cream went over really well at our dinner party last night – the only issue I had was that it seemed impossible to fully incorporate the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. I ended up with a two-layer frozen dessert – the fig/coffee/condensed milk layer on the bottom and the whipped cream layer clearly visible on the top! Like I said everyone liked it so I’ll try it again – although I don’t know how to get your nice consistent mixture that you have in the photos. Thanks!

  30. Lisa Dunford says:

    This look so delicious, this great recipe for hot summer days.

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