Rosie writes: "There is a huge fig tree growing on the canal by my house that doesn’t fruit, so I use the leaves in my cooking instead. I love the subtle almond and figgy flavor of fig leaves and it works so well with blackberry, which is abundant across the U.K. at the moment." —The Curious Pear
superfine sugar plus 1 tablespoon (or more), divided
NOTE: I always forget that when making ice cream, it’s important to chill the custard over night. So get started a day before you want to eat it!
Heat the milk and cream with 50 grams of the sugar, until just boiling. Submerge the fig leaves in the mix and leave to infuse for about half an hour.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 50 grams of the sugar and pinch of salt until pale and thick and ribbon-like. Strain the fig leaf infusion and drop a few drops of the yolk and sugar mix into the infused milk and cream. Stir, and then gently pour the infusion into the
yolk mix, stirring steadily as you go, until it’s all incorporated and you have a pale yellow mix. Wash out the pan you used to heat the milk and cream and return the mixture to the pan. Heat gently, stirring in a figure of eight movement until the custard is thick and leaves a clear trail on the wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with a film of cling wrap directly on the custard’s surface and refrigerate overnight.
Make the blackberry purée by heating the blackberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a non-stick pan. Cook until the blackberries collapse and release their juices. Taste for sharpness and if they’re particularly tart, add a dash more sugar. You want the purée to be sharp and sweet—perfectly balanced to cut through the sweet, creamy custard. Blitz in a food processor and strain out the seeds using a fine mesh sieve.
The next day, churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until thick and creamy. About 5 minutes before the end of the churn, pour in some of the blackberry purée to achieve a ripple. It’s up to you how much you add, but I
like to keep some back so as to not overpower the fig leaf flavor. Transfer to a plastic container or ice cream tub and store in the freezer until needed.
Best friends Issy and Meg have spent the last decade sitting across tables from each other, travelling the world knife and fork in hand. Photographing bowls of steaming noodles, exotic street food and some of the world's most exciting cooks, Issy makes up the photography side of the duo, while Meg records each bite in words. Considering their equal obsession for food and each other, it was inevitable that the two would eventually combine to become The Curious Pear, intent on bringing you reviews, food features and interviews with the culinary crowd, as well as pieces on their favourite eating spots from around the world. The Curious Pear are the contributing Food Editors at SUITCASE Magazine, bringing you a weekly food column at suitcasemag.com, as well as contributing for Time Out, Food52, Life & Thyme, Trends on Trends, Guest of a Guest and more!