Roasted Fig Gelato 3

This is the richest and creamiest ice cream I’ve made to date on the blog, and the recipe is unusual in a few different ways.  For one thing it includes mascarpone cheese in the base.  That helps keep it beautifully scoopable even after a night in the freezer.  The mascarpone lends a lusciousness that lingers on the palate, and it has a long culinary history with figs — they bring out the best in each other.   I can’t think of another fruit that is as full bodied as Black Mission figs.  They have great color and flavor, too, which all translates  into an extra special gelato.

Black Mission Figs

But even though figs do have a wonderful natural flavor,  flavors can easily get lost in ice creams and gelatos.  It has to do with the dulling effect of the creamy ingredients and the cold temperature.  The flavor of this gelato came alive when I  made a few small but essential additions to it as it churned away for its last few minutes in the machine.  A dash of brandy, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and most important of all, the juice of a lemon.  They took what could have been a shy, understated flavor and woke it up.

Roasted Fig Gelato

This is definitely a sophisticated flavor, great for an adult dinner party, but I don’t think it would be as big a hit with the kids.  Which could be a good thing, now that I think of it.  That just leaves more for you and me.

Roasted Fig Gelato


  • 1 lb Black Mission figs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8 oz package of mascarpone cheese (an Italian cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Brandy
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Rinse and cut off the stems of the figs. Slice them in half and lay out, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Put the roasted figs into a food processor and puree them until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the machine a few times to make sure you get everything thoroughly pureed. Chill the puree.
  4. Put the cream, sugar, condensed milk, and mascarpone cheese in the food processor or blender. Process until the marscapone is completely blended into the cream. Chill the mixture.
  5. When everything is really cold, pour the cream mixture into your ice cream machine along with the fig puree. Process until almost finished, and then add in the vinegar, Brandy, and lemon juice. Taste the ice cream to adjust the amounts. Continue to process according to your machine's directions.
  6. Fold the soft gelato into a container and put it in the freezer for at least several hours to allow it to firm up.

Roasted Fig Ice Cream Cone

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25 Responses to Roasted Fig Gelato

  1. Jeremy says:

    Found 15m/400F wasn’t nearly long enough to roast. More like an hour to get the figs to collapse and get caramelized. Later, splashing some port and balsamic to loosen up the developing fond, the puree is very intense and quite delicious!

  2. Jenoise Kay says:

    Sue, wouldn’t you like for someone to say they made your recipe and it was amazing? I think it would be really great if people could rate your recipe with stars + comments. I hope this criticism is helpful.

    • Sue says:

      Yes, for sure, Jenoise, it’s always helpful to me and other readers when people come back and report on a recipe, I encourage it!

  3. Robin says:

    Everything looks so very delicious! I have 1 question: what is MASCARPONE? And where can I find it??? Thank you, looking forward to trying this!?

  4. Linda says:

    Do you have to use Mission figs? I have a fig tree, but they are the smaller sweet brownish figs. I don’t recall the variety.

  5. Valerie says:

    You had me at mascarpone cheese; the deal was sealed with sweet milk + brandy! Yes. Yes. Yes!!!

  6. Wow Sue we love figs and mascarpone! We can only imagine how fabulous this must taste.
    And your photos are stunning! Makes us want to dive into the cone right now.
    Hope you are having a lovely summer!

  7. michael says:

    Hi Sue, I landed on your site from Bewitching Kitchen, glad I did, I have enjoyed visiting your site. I have been making ice cream all summer, always looking for something different to try. Your fig gelato looks delicious!!

    Check out my site sometime, I am a woodworker, love to cook, bake and grill, hiking and gardening too! Here is a recent post on my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
    Michael :)

  8. Erin says:

    I don’t even like figs, but this sounds and looks delicious!

  9. WOW that gelato looks fantastic. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  10. Kim Beaulieu says:

    I want this, I need this, I must have this. This is serious grown up ice cream. Can’t wait to try it.

  11. I love the mascarpone and touch of balsamic in your gelato, what a treat!

  12. I love figs and ice cream, roasted figs sound divine!

  13. Another fabulous idea Sue. I love the thought of roasted figs and mascarpone in the ice cream!

  14. Marly says:

    Wow – your pictures are stunning! I have never thought of the idea of adding figs to gelato, but I’m seriously intrigued and can’t wait to try this!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Marly! The thing about figs is that they have very little moisture compared to most other fruits, so they do well in ice creams and gelatos.

  15. I just happen to have a bunch of figs and this looks amazing!

  16. Susan says:

    This sounds fantastic, Sue! I love figs and the mascarpone in the recipe must make it so creamy and delicious.

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