Anthotyro Cheese, Honey, and Balsamic Baked Fig Ice Cream
The title says it all. Ice cream made with soft fresh white anthotyro cheese (similar to ricotta), honey and figs baked in the oven with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar till soft and jammy. A very special and “grown up” ice cream.
Is this not an intriguing title? I couldn’t bear to leave any of the components out of it; it’s one of those! This ice cream is the “traditional” sort. I mean it’s made with eggs and an ice cream machine. I know, many of you don’t have an ice cream machine. Can I just say that if you have even the smallest of spaces in which to store it, it is definitely worth getting one? There really isn’t anything like proper ice cream. The store bought stuff is either tasteless (in many cases here in Greece they have to call it “frozen dessert” because it’s not even real ice cream) or it’s super expensive (you know the brands I’m talking about, yes? Delish but yikes!). So once you get used to whipping up some custard (it’s not as difficult as you think) you can be making your own lovely ice cream all summer (and winter?) long. Oh, also, if you have a slow cooker you can use this method for the custard! You’re welcome.
Here we have something a little different. I’ve added anthotyro to the custard. Anthotyro (as you know from this post) is a fresh, soft white cheese similar to ricotta. You can substitute one for the other with similar results. The anthotyro gives the the ice cream a distinct flavour, you know it’s there, but it doesn’t take over and it’s definitely not cheesy. And now for the figs. Wow. Ok, to start with, I love fresh figs. When I cut them up and put them in the baking dish I very nearly said to hell with this and ate them all on the spot. But I showed great restraint and popped them in the oven after drizzling with balsamic vinegar and sprinkling with brown sugar. Guys, the result was these gooey jammy figgy figs that again were in danger of not making it to the ice cream. But it was worth the torment of leaving them alone. I really loved the end result. Keep in mind it’s one of those ice creams that needs a good 15 minutes or so to soften (I think the cheese does that, it happens with cream cheese based ice creams too), so if you can time it well it’s probably best served straight from the machine. If not that’s still fine, just remember to take it out of the freezer for a while before you want to scoop it up.
Now on to something else. In July I went to a food photography workshop in Italy. What a fantastic experience. I really really enjoyed it, and didn’t want to leave! There is nothing like spending two and a half days with a group of talented people, all as crazy as you are about making food pretty, taking photos of it and then eating it. If you follow me on Instagram you might already have an idea of what I’m talking about! We enjoyed the beautiful Italian countryside, talked about our work, took loads of photos, and ate amazing food made by our hostess’s mum. And more importantly, we were inspired to take our food photography to the next level. I am really hoping that over the next few months you notice a difference (in a good way!) as I experiment with developing my style. I am at a bit of a milestone (that’s what it feels like anyway), so bear with me if I seem a bit all over the place with this. And please feel free to let me know what you think! I will be posting some photos from the workshop on Facebook very soon, so keep your eye on my page!
Now, let’s go and make some ice cream because autumn doesn’t seem to be arriving any time soon here.
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