It’s the first day of autumn here in the Adelaide Hills today and there are signs of harvest everywhere. Driving along the winding roads becomes a little more hazardous as we dodge the large grape-picking machines which travel from vineyard to vineyard, the enormous double-trailered (there’s probably a name for these) trucks carrying the precious grapes to the wineries and various private cars, vans, trucks and utes (pick-ups) loaded with ladders and itinerate pickers heading to and from the apple orchards as the apple harvest begins.
Not so at our house, though. I managed to steal some of the plums away from the birds, but our other stone fruit and ALL of the apples are long gone – ravaged before ripening by the voracious galahs, corellas and rosellas. We still have our citrus fruit (thank heavens for bitter rinds), the quinces ripen quite late up here and I can always seem to find some ripe figs that the birds have missed.
We have a scrawny orange tree that I have been nurturing along for some years. That, and an up-until-recently unidentified citrus, have been overshadowed and stunted by a scruffy, unattractive Paper Bark tree whose existence has been the subject of intermittent marital disagreement. A recent visit by some horticulturally savvy friends shed light on the identity of the anonymous citrus – a Tahitian Lime, no less – and the tree next to it which I had never even really noticed. Seems that this is a White Mulberry and what I had always assumed to be it’s nondescript flowers are, in fact, the most ambrosial tasting fruit I have ever eaten. This tree, too, has been stunted by the increasingly ugly Paper Bark. In a calculated move a little like Eve (but plumper and older) with the apple, I lured the disputing spouse under the tree and fed him some of the White Mulberry fruit. One taste was all it took for The Husband to pronounce the death sentence upon the blot on the landscape and it is astonishing how quickly the citrus trees have responded to the extra light, water and space.
Our oranges don’t look like much, but they have an amazing flavour and I have been working on ways to combine them with the only other ripe fruit to hand at the moment – the figs. I made a vow at the beginning of summer to try to make more home-made ice cream and am proud of this gorgeously fragrant recipe which I eventually came up with. While there are a couple of steps, it really is not a fussy recipe and is well worth the effort. I found that the flavour of the orange blossom water tends to dissipate after freezing so you may need to beef this up a little. After I’d made it I also thought some toasted, slivered almonds would be a great addition – so feel free to play around with it. A Thermomix makes this easier, but is not necessary – I have given instructions for either stove-top or TM.
Orange Blossom Fig & White Chocolate Ice Cream - wicked!
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 500 gms fresh figs stems removed and quartered
- 2-3 tsp orange blossom water
- 250 mls pouring cream
- 250 mls full cream milk
- 150 gms white chocolate finely grated
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 egg yolks
- 70 gms caster sugar
- Place orange juice, honey and cinnamon stick into small saucepan and bring to the boil over moderate flame. Remove from heat and allow to steep for an hour or two then remove and discard cinnamon stick.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Place quartered figs in a shallow, greased oven tray. Pour over the orange juice and honey mix and roast figs until all the juice has evaporated and the fruit has caramelised - about 20 minutes. Watch carefully towards the end to avoid burning.
- Cool the fruit before placing in food processor and pulsing until finely chopped.
- Stir in orange blossom water.
- Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan. Add chocolate and vanilla paste and heat, stirring, until chocolate melted. Cool a little.
- Beat sugar and egg yolks together until thick and creamy.
- Add a small amount of the warm cream/milk mixture and blend well before gradually adding the egg yolks to the rest of the cream/milk over a low flame. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture just thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Refrigerate until cold.
- Place in ice cream machine and churn until frozen, place in freezer container, add figs and stir through. Freeze until solid.
- THERMOMIX INSTRUCTIONS for Ice Cream
- Grate the chocolate at speed 8 for 5 seconds.
- Add milk/cream and melt together 2 mins, 50C at speed 3.
- Add butterfly and vanilla paste and sugar. Process 2 minutes at speed 4, adding the yolks one at a time through the lid.
- Refrigerate until cold and then proceed as above.
Eat, drink and be Kerry
Wow Amanda, that looks so delicious. You must be so proud of making something this good from fruit grown on your own property. Well done!
Andrea @ EatTravelBliss
Oh that looks absolutely scrumptious. Anything with figs always gets my attention, and then with the white chocolate and orange, beautiful!
Jennifer @ Delicieux
Oh Amanda, what I wouldn’t give for a bowl of this right now! It looks absolutely divine. I love the combination of flavours.
And congratulations on getting rid of the paperbark!
Lizzy (Good Things)
Amanda, such a beautiful post. I love that you are growing oranges and figs. Such joy is to be found from picking fruit from your own garden!
This combination is from paradise, of that I am sure. I could never stop eating it !! It is also autumnal here in the city -in the form of chilly, dark mornings !!
Oh no, this really is wicked! Tempting me off my diet with the promise of luscious loveliness and fabulous flavours- yummo!
That’s a delicious looking ice cream. What a shame the birds stole your harvest – how annoying but what can you do! xx
Christine (Food Wine Travel)
Hi Amanda, We planted our fig tree last year and already have a beautiful crop coming on (picking our first ripe one today!) Thanks for this beautiful recipe. Look forward to trying it!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Anything with figs is a winner for me at the moment! I could devour punnets 🙂
Just love the sound of this flavour combination. Enjoy your lime tree 🙂
My Kitchen Stories
I think I would love this what amazing fantastic flavours together. i am very jealous of your fresh grown fruit!
Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul
Omg! I screamed when I saw the ingredients for this ice cream Amanda! It looks (and I bet tasted) beautiful! How I envy that you have fruit trees!
This looks delicious! My Ma and Pa live in McLaren Vale and gave me 4kgs of figs to take home when I visited this weekend. If I hadn’t chopped them up and put them in my dehydrator already, I’d be all over this ice cream! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Your opening reminded me of our long-ago honeymoon on Cypres – we took a public bus across the island and the bus slowly climbed a mountain with a narrow winding road right behind a truck carrying grapes that left a slippery purple trail behind. But I adore autumn and winter and citrus season but Florida girl I am I would never have thought to pair orange with fig! Luscious and beautiful!
Lizzy (Good Things)
Yup, this is my kinda ice cream!