Salted Roasted Figs and Cardamom Ice Cream

This cardamom ice cream is built on contrasting textures and flavors—the salty and sweet notes from the roasted figs give this otherwise smooth ice cream a delicious fruity flavor.
November 16, 2015


By Nik Sharma

Makes 1 generous quart 


12 Black Mission figs, ripe

¼ teaspoon

Maldon sea salt flakes or kosher sea salt crystals

2 cups plus 4 tablespoons whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ teaspoon green cardamom seeds, freshly ground

⅔ cup (5½ ounces) raw sugar

2½ tablespoon cornstarch


Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Wash the figs, wipe them dry with a clean paper towel or kitchen cloth. Trim the top and bottom of each fig and then slice them lengthwise into 4 sections. Place the individual figs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt flakes over the figs (it’s fine if you don’t salt all the fig sections) and bake them for about 10 minutes in the oven, or until the figs begin to caramelize and turn slightly golden brown at the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. Refrigerate the figs on the baking sheet until completely chilled. If the baking sheet doesn’t fit in the refrigerator transfer them to a smaller plate but keep them individually separate.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the 2 cups of milk, heavy cream, cardamom and sugar on a medium-high flame. Stir to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil. Whisk the 4 tablespoons of milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and then add it to the boiling mix. Whisk immediately and continue to stir for about 3–4 minutes, until the milk begins to thicken. It will acquire a custard-like consistency and should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from stove and allow the ice cream base to cool for about 5 minutes.

Transfer the ice cream base to an airtight gallon zip-top bag and seal. Place the bag in an ice water bath and allow to chill completely for about 30 minutes. Transfer the chilled ice cream base to prepared frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn for about 30 minutes until the ice cream has formed. Alternatively, follow the instructions given by your ice cream maker’s manufacturers.

Transfer half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container (preferably airtight). Layer with half of the chilled roasted salted fig sections and then layer with the rest of the ice cream. Layer the top of the ice cream with the rest of the fig sections. Cover the surface of the ice cream with parchment paper and press gently. Freeze the ice cream for about 4 hours or overnight before serving.

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