Friday, September 10, 2010

Fig Gelato - two ways!

Rosh Hashana brings with it a time for self reflection, soul searching and introspection. This year is not only a crossroad, a right of passage for our son who we just dropped off in college but also for us, now empty nesters. There are so many thoughts crossing my mind about growth, maturity, independence, self fulfillment and being a better person and giving to others, even in small gestures.  Some thoughts as I am sure cross my child's mind.  His adjustment started with a rocky start and mine with the Holidays sneaking in a bit too quickly, staring at me blankly, now what?! Our son, Sagie, went to a reality, hopefully temporary, of shattered dreams of playing college soccer due to a tough leg injury and surgery. He worked very hard and sacrificed a lot the majority of his 18 years of life so that he can play soccer in college. Me, I made celebrations of Jewish and American Holidays mostly in our home for the last eighteen years and all for this lone child of mine. Celebration with much cooking and commotion, big loud laughter mostly mine, and sometimes Sagie will join in laughing at my jokes until our stomachs hurt. Some smaller devilish smirks with a tingle in of both Jonathan's and Sagie's eyes at Jonathan's dry humor loving arrows of sarcasm targeted at me, which are so smart I even have to laugh. All this commotion for a larger life for this small family of mine!! now, what?! ...but then, we get an inspired text from Sagie recently around midnight, 'that he always wished for a humbled life, and maybe this battering of his spirit is some sort the humbling life he always yearned for, a test for him to persevere and grow stronger.' Sometimes I feel this child of mine is raising me, and when we get a text such as this, we are speechless and at awe. I MUST think for a happy sweet New Year to focus my energies on self growth and do good, and if not a big family, friends, cooking, commotion and celebration this Rosh Hashana then there is always Thanksgiving!!
Some words about figs and this recipes: Figs make a guest appearance at my Rosh Hashana table every year in one course or another. The timing of ripening of the fruit end of summer beginning of Fall couldn't be better.  I take much joy in featuring one of the seven fruits that symbolize the Holy Land on this festive happy beginning of the Jewish New Year. Whether paired with pomegranates in this arugula addiction salad (substitute the strawberries and bell peppers with figs and pomegranate seeds), this salad or a dessert, figs elate every meal to heights beyond. I made few versions of playing with fig ice cream and gelato, all came out delicious. While toying with ice cream since I got my ice cream machine this summer, where I never thought of it before, it dawned on me the amount of fat involved and I am appalled. 5% does not seem so bad after all. So I decided to feature the fruit with a 5% milk and not 35% cream. I have never in the past noticed such things but today after making many batches of ice cream, gelato and sorbet every which way all summer, I fully understand I sacrifice consistency and creaminess, but I can't bring myself to eat ice cream with high fat content cream. How sad for me right?! :) Besides, in these particular recipes, the fig fruit base and 5% milk gives this gelato the depth, thickness and creamy consistency desired. I've features two of my favorite fig gelato recipes, my favorite one more vanilla flavor with uncooked fig base and Jonathan's favorite a more 'figgy' flavor and sensational color with a cooked fig base. In the uncooked version you won't achieve the  lavendar color it will be more speckled. You will see me featuring more and more gelato and sorbets moving forward. See last two sorbets pineapple and mango features from archives. No worries I didn't completely give up fat!

Fig Gelato - Jonathan's favorite (pictured):

Ingredients:
1 lb organic black mission figs
1/2 plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups 5% milk
Juice of 1 small lemon
Organic ice cream cones for serving

Directions:
Snip tips of fig stems and quarter figs.  Add the sugar to the figs in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Mix occasionally for twenty minutes.  Take fig jam off the heat and let cool.  Once cooled refrigerate until chilled or overnight. Pulse fig jam in a blender, add milk, teaspoon of vanilla and lemon juice and pulse for couple seconds longer.  Pour mixture into chilled ice cream bowl and churn for 20 to 30 minutes or so or until fig mixture solidifies into soft serve consistency. Scoop fig gelato into a container with a tight lid and keep in freezer until serving. Gelato can be served soft serve as well directly out of ice cream machine.

Fig Gelato - my favorite:

Ingredients:
1 lb organic black mission figs or any other fig variety
1/2 plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups 5% milk
Organic ice cream cones for serving

Directions:
Snip tips of fig stems and quarter figs. Add the sugar to milk in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Mix until sugar dissolves. Take milk sugar mixture off the heat and let cool. Once cooled refrigerate until chilled. Puree figs in a blender, add milk and a teaspoon of vanilla and pulse for couple seconds longer. Pour mixture into chilled ice cream bowl and churn for 20 to 30 minutes or so or until fig mixture solidifies into soft serve consistency. Scoop fig gelato into a container with a tight lid and keep in freezer until serving. Gelato can be served soft serve as well directly out of ice cream machine.

Notes:
1. Can be served any day or during the Jewish Holidays perfect for a breaking the Yom Kippur fast dairy menu. Can be served over halved fresh figs roasted or not or in an ice cream cone.
2. I played with many versions: fig ice cream with egg yolk base, fig gelato with corn flour thickener, low/high fat versions and came up with this recipe, I decided to leave out the thickeners, explanation above.

18 comments :

  1. Happy New Year! What a beautiful post - I couldn't help but tear up as I read, "sometimes I feel this child of mine is raising me" - oh, this life we lead! I can imagine how warm your heart must feel at your holiday table. And I love your tradition of always having a fig recipe - these two versions of fig gelato are just gorgeous!

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  2. Happy New Year, Shulie! I'm an outsider looking in and welcomed into your celebration. Thank you for sharing this with us: not merely recipes and beautiful photographs, but also traditions and transitions.

    I'll take two scoops (one of each), please! Thanks!

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  3. If I can get my hands on some figs tomorrow, I'm making this! It just looks so delicious!

    L'shana tova!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your heart-warming story. Lovely photos. The gelato sounds amazing. Cheers to a happy new year!

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  5. Dear Liren, Annapet and Trish, Thank you for your heartfelt responses to my story, wishes for the new year and compliments for the recipe and photography. The response has been overwhelming and I appreciate your friendship!
    Brian, L'Shana Tova to you too, my fave is an easier version and you can use any figs you score at the market. Enjoy!!

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  6. Thank you for a beautiful, very moving post at a reflective time of year for all of us. May you be inscribed in the book of fig gelato :)

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  7. I am drooling at the thought of fig gelato. YUM.

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  8. @youngandfoodish Happy we are on the same continent as we speak today. Thx for your touching comment and I might 'borrow' your original New Year greeting, with your permission of course:).
    @C.G.theFoodie Thx so much! Usually figs don't last in this house that long for me to manage to make a dish with it. They are immediately consumed, fresh! :)

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  9. Shulie, what a touching post. Wishing you and your family a sweet and peaceful year.

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  10. Looks wonderful! If I could only figure out how to convince everyone to eat this for breakfast ...

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  11. Shana Tova to you and your family, a year a love, happiness, health and prosperity. What a lovely post. It made me smile because there are so many parallels with me and my family; the warmth and laughter, the changes and the growing up of all of us. My baby left home this year and I hope is stepping into adult life and the reality of so many things. We find ourselves alone even though our older son is living at home while at university, but he lives as if he were on his own. This will be an amazing year in so many ways. I'm glad I met you. Happy New Year. Stunning fig ice cream, too.

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  12. Thanks Tristan, hahaha, I completely can see a scoop of either of the gelatos along side of a stack of pancakes and halved fresh figs to go with it:).
    Jaime, Thanks so much it warms my heart knowing you relate and we've got so much in common. Happy I have met you as well and wishing much happiness,health and self fullfilment for the coming year!

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  13. My mouth is watering at your photos. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I'm not quite ready fro summer ice cream season to go yet.

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  14. Gail, Thanks for the comment and Happy New Year to you as well.
    Debbie, Thx! :) I might squeeze in couple more end of season, might even be sorbets believe it or not:) or Fall feel and ingredients gelatos?!

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  15. Oh my dear Shulie ~ such a beautiful post from such a beautiful family. Yes, our children raise us in more ways that we can count - they teach us to reach for the very best in ourselves, to find a way, to persevere and to start all over again in the morning. I'm so, so blessed to have found you in this funny little blogging world - you bring such joy and laughter to my life. Shana Tova Shulie - may you and your family be blessed with much happiness, joy, peace and laughter always! Hugs my beautiful friend!

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  16. This looks amazing and such a pretty photo! Love your writing as well. So glad I found you on twitter

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  17. Shana Tova to you & your family! Love your recipe for the Fig Gelato! I will have to try it! :)

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  18. Hi Debra @SmithBites I chocked up when I woke up and read your comment this morning. I thought I better wait before I respond to this touching comment and gesture of friendship. Happy I have met you as well. Kisses, Shulie
    Thanks Alison and Sara for you lovely comments and response so happy we came across each other and love your blogs. Looking forward developing the friendship Shulie

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