I put butter in ice cream because I simultaneously hate & love myself. It's complicated.
This week I finished my second-to-last EVER semester of college and I *finally* learned how to tie a neck tie. So, in honor of getting one step closer to being an unemployed, poor and probably sad college graduate who can look cute in a tie,I get to eat as many of these buttery-pistachio-cold-figgy things as I want, damn it. I'll need the extra calories for this long, cold New Orleans winter, anyway (just kidding its hot and muggy outside right now and its really messing up my Christmas spirit).
I chose to put figs in this ice cream because they are a Christmas thing, but it wasn't until literally yesterday that I looked into why they are a Christmas thing. They're in season in the summer, but it's December. I don't know, its just weird. Yes, I know the song that goes "something, something, figgy pudding" is like a Christmas anthem but I wanted to know WHY. Well, surprise, surprise... its the fault of the English (no one is surprised). According to the Holy Book that is Wikipedia, figgy pudding is some kind of variation on a traditional English Christmas pudding eaten during the holidays. So, by chance it was mentioned in that song and then the song got super popular and now figs are a thing for Christmas. Even though I feel weird about figs being so popular at a time when they are totally out of season, I won't hold it against the English because they gave us Tom Daley. Also, figs are delicious.
Also, if you aren't on the brown butter train yet, get on it. Brown butter is butter that has been slightly browned over heat, making it nutty and aromatic. Y'all it is so freaking good. In this recipe it mainly heightens the already nutty flavor of the pistachio, as well as making the ice cream extra creamy. I'm feeling weirdly passionate about brown butter as I write this so I'm just going to stop before it gets weird.
Pistachio + White Chocolate Shortbread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 8 oz butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cup white chocolate chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Brown Butter + Pistachio + Fig Ice Cream
- 1.5 cups brown butter (made from about 4 sticks of unsalted butter)
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 t almond extract
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 lb figs, chopped into desired size
- 1 cup unsalted and shelled pistachios
- 1/8 t salt
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes
- Add vanilla and beat beat for an additional minute
- Mix in white chocolate and pistachios
- Sift in flour and salt, mix to combine
- Refrigerate for at least one hour
- Roll out refrigerated dough and cut into desired shapes, or roll into a log shape and make 1/2" slices to have evenly round cookies
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15 - 17 minutes, until slightly golden
- In a food processor, grind the pistachios and a half cup of the sugar until it is a powder
- Bring the brown butter, milk and cream to a boil in a large pot and remove from heat
- Combine the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a stand or hand-held mixer and beat for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy
- While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in one cup of the milk mix
- Once the cup of the milk mix has been added, whisk the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken
- Strain the mix into a large bowl and mix in the figs
- Chill it in the refrigerator for at least two hours
- Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to churn the mix into ice cream
When the ice cream is done churning, freeze it for at least two hours until its pretty hard. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, place the ice cream between two cookies and carefully form into a sandwich. Use an icing spatula or knife to mold the ice cream into place. The ice cream portion of this recipe is adapted from Emeril's pistachio ice cream recipe.