Monday, September 26, 2011

Honey Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Fig Swirl

Alton Brown told me to stick my hand in this ice cream.  Really.  He did.  Alright, so maybe that’s a stretch, but he did tweet at me to offer me relief on my burning hands after chopping peppers.  His advice to soothe capsaicin burn was fattening dairy.  It just so happened the fattest dairy I had on hand was this ice cream.  So into a bowl of it my hands went.

You may or may not remember last year I made a White Chocolate Ice Cream with Spiced Pumpkin Swirl.  I made it because I wanted to use the pumpkin butter I love so much from Trader Joe’s.  Recently on a Trader Joe’s grocery trip I was checking to see if their pumpkin butter was out yet this year.  It wasn’t, but they had fig butter!  I love fresh figs.  Unfortunately they only appear at select grocery stores for a really brief time here in Nashville.  I was surprised this fig butter was so affordable, and it was delicious!  I found myself enjoying it most frequently on toast, with a bit of honey swirled on.  Before long I knew I wanted to swirl it into an ice cream.  My first thought was honey ice cream, but almost immediately after that, I thought of honey goat cheese ice cream.  I already know those flavors work well together from when I made Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs that had honey drizzled on top.  Furthermore, I knew that goat cheese was a flavor I liked in ice cream after trying it at Jeni’s on my first visit!  The Jeni’s flavor I had was Goat Cheese & Red Cherries.

As with the Blueberry Goat Cheese Muffins I made this year, the goat cheese flavor is very subtle.  It just adds a hint of tang, and results in a really distinct flavor profile.  I would say the honey flavor is more prominent than the goat cheese.  I also love that the goat cheese cuts the sweetness of the ice cream.  The fig butter swirled in is like the icing on the cake.  It makes for an interesting contrast in texture, as the ice cream is incredibly smooth, and the fig butter a bit gritty.  This is a classic flavor combination, but unique in ice cream.  To say I enjoyed this ice cream would be an understatement!  I definitely preferred eating it, as opposed to sticking my hand in a bowl of it.

PS. Did you know September is National Honey Month?  Yeah, that’s right, I hit a food holiday.  That rarely happens.


Honey Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Fig Swirl


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey
4 oz goat cheese
approximately 1/3 cup fig butter (I just kept dolloping in tablespoons until I was happy with the amount)


Add the cream, milk, and honey to a medium saucepan. Stir to dissolve the honey. Heat over moderate heat, stirring from time to time, just until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir or whisk in goat cheese until dissolved.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. (Overnight is recommended)

Before churning, stir mixture briefly to reincorporate ingredients. Churn according to ice cream maker instructions until fluffy. Transfer about 1/2 of the ice cream to desired container, dollop in some of the fig butter, repeat with remaining ice cream & fig butter. Using a butter knife swirl ice cream & fig butter a few times. Cover and freeze until hardened.

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