Saturday, 22 March 2014

An ode to Maggie & Figs.

This week has been a bit rubbish in the health stakes.

I got sick with a bad head cold that left me feeling really flat. Bleurgh.

Still can't seem to shake it.
I am blessed with really good health and it is a rarity for me to get sick. I'm not very good at going slow so me & sick don't work very well together.
Inevitably my littlest got sick too.  A high fever and so a day of rest with me at home.
Then back to school as he seemed really fine.
Then late at night last night came the familiar seal-like bark of croup. He had it bad.
And so ensued a night of not much sleep and the need for a lazy day to follow.

We planted out our veg in our veggie patch which has lain fallow since our big house build. The early sun was lovely.
Gosh it's great to get our hands in the dirt again.  We have planted out some more fruit trees, a couple more gum trees and lots and lots of veggie & herb goodness for winter.

I bought some more seeds from this supplier. I love them as they have some of the little known Italian greens that I love.  I can't wait to harvest the Cima di Rapa (sometimes known as Rapini).

For now we wait......and tend.....and love.

In a few months we will once again be harvesting the goodness.

My love for Maggie Beer is well known.
I wrote an article about it here.

I LOVE figs but the season is very short. I always make batches of my Fig & Star Anise Jam to see my need for figs last through till the following season.
So today on our mooching around the house day I wanted to try and make my very own version of Maggie's incredible Burnt Fig and Caramel icecream which seems to have caught the nations tastebuds.

Mr Girlfriend gifted me an Icecream maker (I have wanted one for a very long time- so LUCKY!)and it has been all flavours go since! 
Yesterday I made Emma Dean's Licorice Icecream from her book 'A Homegrown Table'.
Emma is rad and so is her Licorice icecream and you should totally go and by her book! You really should! SO much great stuff in there! 

Anyway todays icecream was an experiment and I am pleased to announce it was a SUCCESS!
You have to love it when that happens in the kitchen!
So here is how to make your very own version of this Maggie Classic.
NB: this recipe requires the use of an ice cream maker & the use of full fat products to achieve the creaminess we all love in a good ice cream.

For the ice cream:

  • 4 tablespoons Fig Jam (i used my own but any good fig jam will do)
  • 2 1/2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • the scrapings of half a vanilla bean 
For the Salted Caramel:

  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 90g butter cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
To make the caramel, add sugar and butter in a pan over medium heat until sugar is melted and mixture is frothy and bubbling.

Add cream and salt flakes and stir till the mix is quite foamy and syrupy.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

In a food processor mix together sugar, milk, vanilla and fig jam until well combined.
Now add the cream and mix well.
Refrigerate this for 2 hours so it is nice and cold before adding to your icecream machine.
This helps the fat solids bind and gives the icecream better texture.
I couldn't wait that long so popped it into the freezer for 15 minutes!

Now add to your icecream machine and mix until frozen.

Remove into a vessel for freezing and swirl through a generous amount of the cooled salted caramel.

Pop into freezer to harden nicely...if you can wait!


  1. I've been pondering what to make with the figs from our tree in the backyard- this is perfect!! We are sharing our lovely white figs with the local birds, it's a never ending struggle!

  2. This sounds and looks totally gorgeous Ruth! A friend has just given me a jar of her Fig, Ginger and Pepper jam and she also makes Fig and Star Anise jam. So good! Wishing you a happy Sunday and a great week ahead.

  3. I am so sad our neighbours at the back had a fig tree and I used to pick them every year and they are so nice straight from the tree but they moved and the new people cut it down I bought some but they were not the same ,this recipe looks amazing not that I eat ice cream very often as I'm lactose intolerant.I do hope your on the mend now xx


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