We hang out with our friends (almost) every weekend. We live really spread out from each other too (about 30 mins to an hour away). Saturday is the only day we can all get together and nerd-out, play Dungeons & Dragons, board games, video games, etc. The first order of business when we all get together, is procuring lunch and snacks/beverages for the rest of the night. Often times, we have leftover snacks, and bring them home with us. Well… one time, my friend Josh left an un-opened jar of fruit salad in our fridge. Big mistake. For lunch one day… I ate the whole thing.
I got made fun of, for the next… forever; I’m STILL hearing about it. The point (or, threat) ended up being: don’t leave food at our house, because it WILL get eaten.
Well, once again, Josh has left something at at our place: Navan Vanilla Infused Liqueur. And guess what I did?
So yes, this ice cream has booze in it; but if you don’t want to make it with the booze… then go and use another recipe. I know that sounds harsh, but sometimes there is indeed room to improvise and do your own thing, and sometimes, THIS IS PERFECTION. You can probably guess on which side this ice cream falls.
Figs are fresh, earthy and sweet; espresso is dark, rich, smoky, and complex; and the Navan liqueur wraps them together in a soft vanilla blanket.
So no, do not omit the booze for vanilla beans, or extract. That would be like replacing your socks with paper towels; not even close to being similar in function OR quality.
(If you have a hard time finding Navan, you could go ahead and use another vanilla liqueur, or even Grand Marnier.)
Navan is oh-so-smooth, has a loud vanilla flavor, and a super sweet background. This stuff is a bit pricey, but definitely worth every penny.
Let’s start with the fig puree:
(The base for this ice cream came from Alton Brown’s recipe, tweaked here and there.)