When figs are in season, we have increasingly been looking for ways to use them. This rich, creamy gelato is a beautiful application of ripe, sweet figs and is made even better by utilizing mascarpone and ricotta! It’s not necessarily a “fig cheesecake” type of gelato but see for yourself how amazing the mouthfeel is with a deep, rich flavor to match! We know you will love this Fig Ricotta and Rum Caramel Gelato to beat the heat this summer!
The Elusive Fig
For the figs, we highly recommend finding local fresh figs, if possible. However, we know that won’t apply to most people (quite often, us included), so the next best thing is to find ones that are ripe at a good grocery store.
We prefer the dark purple/brown varieties of either black mission figs or brown Turkish figs. Their flavor works best in this gelato, but the green varieties will also be just fine here.
When we say “peeled” figs, we are just talking about removing the thinnest layer of outer coating. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just remove as much as you can and, of course, remove the stem.
Worst case scenario, you can use a fig preserve in this gelato instead of fresh figs.
Ricotta and Mascarpone in Gelato???
Yes, this is a thing actually. Sweetened ricotta and mascarpone is used quite often in desserts throughout Italy, and even appears in quite a few gelato and ice cream recipes. We love using mascarpone in desserts like Cheesecake or as a whipped cream frosting for cakes and as a French toast or waffle topping.
So don't fret, this is a tried and true application for adding cheese to ice cream for a beautiful result!
Gelato vs Ice Cream
There is in fact a very clear difference between gelato and ice cream. You can read more about it HERE. But the bottom line is that gelato has less fat and less air incorporated during the churning process. So, gelato ends up being creamier and more flavorful with each bite. And we just think it is better overall!
Can I make gelato without a machine?
Short answer, yes. It is possible to make gelato without a machine, although we have found that the creamiest versions are made with a machine. Most stand mixers have attachments like THIS but a standalone ice cream machine can be a good option too.
That being said, you will still end up with a very delicious gelato if you don't have a machine to make it. See our post for Passion Fruit White Chocolate Mint Gelato for details on how to make gelato by hand.
Is it safe to use raw egg yolks in gelato?
This of course depends on the source of your eggs, where you live, and if you are comfortable consuming raw ingredients. Living in the US, we generally trust that the eggs we buy from the grocery store are safe to eat because the FDA requires that eggs sold in stores are pasteurized.
Alternative to using raw eggs: Custard Base
If you are unsure about your eggs based on the source, or uncomfortable using raw egg yolks, we recommend that you make a custard base first as follows:
- Add the blended ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat on low, stirring frequently.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugars until smooth.
- When milk just begins to bubble, remove from heat and VERY SLOWLY whisk into the egg mixture. If you do it too fast the eggs will curdle. Once combined return to heat over low to medium-low and gently stir until mixture has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon (approximately 3-4 min).
- Remove from heat and add the caramel, stirring to incorporate it thoroughly. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before placing in your ice cream/gelato maker.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Fig Ricotta and Rum Caramel Gelato! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Strawberry Basil Cheesecake
- Piña Colada Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Rum Sauce
- Apricot and Pistachio Tartlets
- Meyer Lemon Lavender Curd
Fig Ricotta and Rum Caramel Gelato
For the Gelato
- 5 large ripe figs, peeled and chopped (or ¼ cup fig preserves)
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 large egg yolks* (see note)
- ¼ cup Salted Caramel Rum Sauce* (see note)
- In a blender, combine the figs, ricotta, mascarpone, milk, and salt. Blend until the figs are pureed with the rest of the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugars and the egg yolks and whisk until the egg yolks have become lighter and fluffy. Add the milk mixture to the bowl with the egg and sugar mixture and add the caramel sauce. Whisk thoroughly.
- Place the contents into your ice cream or gelato machine and mix per your machine’s instructions until thickened and creamy. Our gelato machine takes about 35 minutes to make this recipe, but use your best judgement based on your machine. Place the gelato in a freezer safe container overnight to firm up.
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