Fresh Fig & Port Sorbet

On Friday, I received my weekly shipment of organic produce and was excited to see a small basket of mission figs. I’ll admit that I don’t have much experience with fresh figs aside from eating them plain or in salads. I’m at a loss for words. This sorbet is incredibly good.

I searched around looking at different recipes and when I came to this recipe from Ms. Adventures in Italy, I knew I had found the one. She based her sorbet on a fig ice-cream found in Perfect Scoop.

I reviewed her recipe and my only concern was how hard this sorbet might freeze. I recently made a watermelon-yogurt ice that turned into a solid unscoopable block. The advice from readers was to add alcohol to keep the mix from fully freezing. Well, I’m not one to turn down alcohol :-) I went to our liquor stash to see what my selection would be and peeking from behind the brandy was a nicely aged port. Port & figs? Um, hell yeah!

Fresh Fig & Port Sorbet
adapted from Ms. Adventures in Italy

8 fresh figs
1/4 cup water
1 meyer lemon, zest and juice
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons port
1 1/2 cups water

Remove the stems and hard bits from the figs and cut into quarters. Add figs, 1/4 cup water, and meyer lemon zest to a sauce pan. As the mix is heated, add the zest of the meyer lemon. Cook covered for 10 minutes or until the figs have softened and begin to break apart. Stir two or three times during the 10 minutes.

Stir in sugar and cook uncovered until the figs begin to thicken and become syrupy (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat.

Using a food processor or stick blender, puree the fig mixture. Remember, it’s HOT so use extreme caution.

To the puree, add the 1 1/2 cups water, port, and juice of the meyer lemon. I opted to user meyer lemon as it’s fragrant but not overly acidic. I didn’t want the sorbet to be too tangy.

Once the mix is cool, pour into an ice-cream mixer and mix according to your mixer’s directions. I let it run for about 25 minutes and it was semi-firm.

I took a few bites (it was hard to stop) then placed into a glass bowl and placed into the refrigerator freezer. I waited a few hours before diving into it … and found that it was indeed scoopable. The ice crystals are extremely small and it melts in your mouth. It’s creamy and thick without using any dairy products.

The flavor is lightly figgy with and undertone of the sweet port. The tiny yellow fig seeds dot the beautifully deep pink color of the sorbet. It’s absolutely, completely, totally, the best sorbet I’ve ever had and a great use for fresh figs!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peter G August 16, 2008, 5:53 pm

    What a wonderful flavour for a sorbet Allen! I think you could give Ben and Jerry’s a good run for their money! Figs and port are a perfect pair…very ingenious to include them together.

  • Christie @ fig & cherry August 16, 2008, 5:56 pm

    Love port, love figs (surprise!) – this is gorgeous. Loving all your fruity recipes lately Allen!

    Alas, Winter in Oz… but not for long!

  • Giff August 16, 2008, 7:30 pm

    Wow, that looks amazing. I don’t have an ice cream maker but I suppose I shouldn’t let that stop me. Sounds like a keeper.

  • Manggy August 16, 2008, 8:05 pm

    Gosh, I don’t know what figs taste like! We get them dried here but I hear they taste like paper so I haven’t tried those. Damn. Well, it does look really good. I’m taking your word for the taste :)

    What, no comments on Phelps’ 12,000 calorie diet? Lol.

  • The Food Librarian August 16, 2008, 9:13 pm

    Wow! This looks fantastic! I love, love, love figs. Yummy!

  • [eatingclub] vancouver || js August 16, 2008, 9:56 pm

    I wish I can get fresh figs here. This fig sorbet sounds divine!

  • Allen August 16, 2008, 10:19 pm

    I keep forgetting that so many of my readers are from countries who are deep in their winter right now .. sorry for springing yet another frozen dessert :-) I need to make you a big bowl of soup or hearty stew!

    Michael Phelps is a total machine … 12k calories a day? I don’t even know how I would spend them … maybe a few slices of pie for breakfast, 2 cheeseburgers and fries for lunch, a bag of chips for a snack, and a pizza or two for dinner … hmmm, and cake for dessert.

  • Kristen August 17, 2008, 7:31 am

    What a great idea for a sorbet! It looks so refreshing :)

  • kat August 17, 2008, 8:58 am

    I just read this to Matt & he's yelling that we need an ice cream maker. These flavors sound so good together! I miss getting the fresh figs in SF.

  • RecipeGirl August 17, 2008, 9:05 am

    Sounds interesting to use figs in a frozen dessert! I recently discovered figs (loved them) and used them in a chicken/blue cheese dish.

  • Allen August 17, 2008, 10:35 am

    Kristen: Thanks!

    Kat: Haha! I’ve been close to losing my ice-cream maker because I don’t use it often and it takes up space. I think that the fig sorbet saved the ice-cream maker for a few more months :-)

    RecipeGirl: They worked well in this sorbet – I bet they tasted wonderful with chicken and blue cheese … yum!

  • Alexa August 17, 2008, 10:57 am

    This looks wonderful. What a great combination of flavor. I bet the port picks up on the figs sweet earthiness. Yummy.

  • Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" August 17, 2008, 3:36 pm

    What a fascinating idea. It makes me want to run back to the store all over again, even though our town beaches have caused total gridlock and traffic is pure hell. Maybe I’ll sneak out later and whip this up for tomorrow. I can’t wait. Thanks Allen.

  • toontz August 17, 2008, 8:46 pm

    I just got an ice-cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid. Used it for the first time tonight and made lemon-orange gelato. I have been on the lookout for unusual recipes to make with it and this one definitely falls in that catagory! Now I just have to chase down some fresh figs!

  • Helen August 18, 2008, 1:36 am

    Ooh, what gorgous flavourings Allen! I could still take a bowl of this even though we have cold temperatures and driving rain here right now. It is apparently ‘summer’.

  • PG August 18, 2008, 3:26 am

    looks just wonderful! The figs look so good and ripe and sweet. I have been to Italy a couple of time and enjoyed the figs. But here it is hard to find good ones. What a great idea with alcohol. A lovely combination. :)

  • Patricia Scarpin August 18, 2008, 11:47 am

    Allen, I’m hypnotized by the color of this sorbet! So beautiful!

  • Munchbrother August 18, 2008, 4:43 pm

    This is such a great recipe, I will post about it if thats OK. Also Allen is this your own recipe if so it’s good.

    Hope to read more of your stuff and enjoying what has already been a joy to read.


  • Diane August 18, 2008, 5:12 pm

    I have a fig tree in my back yard, not really sure if they are mission figs or not as it came with the house. They are still green but once they change color I can’t wait to try out this sorbet it sounds great, ummmm port. In Ireland we drink hot port in winter and put sugar and spices in in, do you think a spiced port sorbet would work, or is that a bit weird?

  • Wasabi Bratwurst August 19, 2008, 4:19 pm

    I can not wait till we get our own ice cream maker! This post is just another sign that we need to make our move. Very inspirational!

  • Jude August 20, 2008, 12:05 am

    Wow. That’s an elegant idea for a dessert. Will definitely try this recipe.

  • fanny September 7, 2008, 10:02 am

    oh this is just beautiful. I’ve been eating figs for a week, and I’m not looking forward to the end of the season.

    xx fanny

  • melissa January 11, 2009, 11:50 am

    i love icecream thanks for a great new recipe. Lately i am hooked on homemade maple icecream. I went to new hampshire and got what seems to be the best tasting maple syrup and you take a cup and boil it down to a quarter cup and then make the custard and the 1/4 cup of syrup is the only sweetner. You have to try it.

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