Love and Olive Oil
Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Flecks

Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Flecks

Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Shards

It’s not often you get 4 flats of figs in the mail for no reason. Well, I take that back, there is a reason, and it is simply to indulge myself in kitchen play.

Fresh figs are fairly hard to come by around these parts; when they do show up at the upscale markets they are often prohibitively expensive. As in, buying 2 pounds for a batch of ice cream is pretty much out of the question.

Fresh Mission Fig & Chocolate Bits Ice Cream

The thing is with figs, when it rains, it pours. Those of you lucky enough to have a fig tree of your own (or a friend or neighbor with a fig tree) are probably drowning in the things to the point of fig-fatigue.

I only feel a little bad for you.

(Because really, I secretly covet one of those neighbors).

Fresh Mission Black Figs to be made into Fig Ice Cream

Thanks to the California Fig Advisory Board, I, for the second time in my life, possessed more figs than I thought I could possibly use before they turned to mush. And, in true food blogger fashion, I took it as a challenge, one which I think I conquered pretty darn well (recipes coming forthwith).

Aside from the obvious jam (and more jam) – two brand new recipes, in fact, which you’ll be able to check out in the fall edition of That’s My Jam, dropping next week — I had to get creative to use up the rest of them.

Ice cream seemed like a logical first step.

Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Flecks

The pale mauve ice cream is not quite as creamy as one made with egg yolks, but the fig, once cooked down to a jam-like consistency, does a good job of keeping the ice cream from getting too icy. This is by no means sorbet.

Taylor tasted it and was immediately convinced there was coffee in it. And I’ll admit, something about the combination of fig and bittersweet chocolate does give off some of the same bitter notes as coffee. And maybe there’s something to that, maybe I should have added some espresso powder. Maybe next time?

Instead, I added chocolate.

Fresh MIssion Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Bits

You may be wondering, why chocolate flecks? Well, chocolate chip or chocolate chunk wasn’t quite the right descriptor, seeing as I used the same technique as this stracciatella gelato: drizzles of melted chocolate that solidify and shatter into little chocolate, well, flecks. I could have gone with chocolate bits or chocolate shards too… but the result is the same: tiny pieces of crunchy chocolate interspersed within a fresh fig ice cream base.

Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Flecks

Fresh Fig Ice Cream with Chocolate Flecks

Rich, creamy ice cream made with fresh Mission figs and studded with bittersweet chocolate flecks.

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  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh figs, stems removed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups chopped)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Combine figs with lemon zest and juice in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the figs are softened and shapeless, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in sugar and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and jam-like, about 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm, then purée in a blender or food processor with the heavy cream and vanilla.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, then churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Meanwhile, gently melt chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave in 15 second bursts. When chocolate is melted and smooth, transfer to a zip-top bag and seal well, pressing out as much air as possible. If necessary, place bag in a bowl of warm water to keep warm while the ice cream finishes churning.
  5. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve (about 1-2 minutes before being completely churned), cut 1/4 inch off the corner of the bag. Slowly drizzle most of the chocolate into churning ice cream, allowing the chocolate to swirl throughout. Transfer to a freezer safe container, drizzling a bit of remaining chocolate on top, and freeze at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight until firm.

Adapted from David Lebovitz via Serious Eats.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. When you say churn according to your appliance directions. Do I add anymore ingredients or just begin churning? 

  2. Hi. I will be trying this lovely recipe tomorrow as have loads of fresh figs. Just one question, can I leave out the chocolate flecks? Will it taste just as good? Thanks. 

  3. Thanks so much for this recipe! I followed it exactly and it was delicious. We have 3 fig trees (what was I thinking?) and so are always looking for ways to use figs this time of year. This one is a keeper!

  4. I made this yesterday and it’s SO GOOD. Mine didn’t turn out purple though, it’s more of the color of Thousand Island dressing, LOL. Still, it tastes great!

  5. Lindsay, I wish you were my neighbor. My fig tree is so heavy with figs that it is drooping to the ground. The combination of all our California winter rains, and now our hot summer, has it exploding! And better yet, this year the squirrels are leaving it alone. I am begging my neighbors and friends to come and pick some figs. Now, I will make some ice cream! I will look forward to any other fig recipes you have!

  6. Oh dear, so Mediterranean! So tasty, so inviting! Thank you so much! Perfect timing, perfect idea! Thank you so much!

  7. We planted a fig tree—Theodore Fig Roosevelt—two years ago and cannot WAIT until he starts to fruit. This looks like my dream ice cream!

  8. Great recipe – I like it better than Lebovitz’s.  No idea why he adds water to fruit since the fruit already adds water to the ice cream and it affects texture.

    I added 3/4 cup turbinado sugar instead of the mix of white and brown sugar.  It gave a wonderful caramel tinge to the flavor.

    Only one complaint:  We all thought it had too much lemon juice.  Next time I will try 1/2 tablespoon.  For those who will try the recipe I suggest beginning with only a teaspoon and adding more until it tastes right.  The amount needed may also depend on the fig variety and ripeness.

  9. I secretly wish for neighbors with a fig tree, too. More importantly, I regret not planting my own fig tree when we designed our landscaping last year! I am savoring all the figs while they last – they are my absolute favorite part of summer, ever since I moved to California! I think you did the fig bounty justice with this stunning ice cream.

  10. I never would have thought to do fig ice cream, but this looks amazing!


  11. I love figs and this looks like the perfect ice cream for me :)! I wish I was one of those who have a fig tree in their garden! :)

    • Hello iam zhina kalantari i am from iran and we have fig in the garden i wish you go to iran and to our house you look to our garden ,we have in the garden fig ,gruop,….

  12. Oh my! I would never have thought to make fig ice cream, what a wonderful idea! It’s a beautiful colour too.

  13. It sounds like a dream scenario – too many figs to use :D

  14. This looks amazing. We hardly ever get figs. It is always a special treat when we do.

  15. Can you process any other way? Don’t have an ice cream maker :-(

    • I’ve never done it, but I believe there are methods involving bags and salt or mason jars? Give it a google, I’m sure you will find something. :)

  16. Chocolate + fig = insert heart-eyed emoji here, please. 

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