Quark-Roquefort Ice Cream with Balsamic-Fig Jam

Cheese-lovers, this dessert is calling your name.

Rolling the cheese and dessert courses into one, this luxurious ice cream is a memorable final course for an extra special holiday meal. Look for the creamy and mildly tangy German-style quark from Hemme Brothers Creamery, located in mid-Missouri.

Quark-Roquefort Ice Cream with Balsamic-Fig Jam

Serves | 4 to 6 |

Balsamic-Fig Jam (Yields 1 cup)

  • 6 oz dried Calmyrna or Turkish figs, stems removed and diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ²⁄₃ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 medium lemon, strained
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Quark-Roquefort Ice Cream with Balsamic-Fig Jam

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp, whole milk, divided
  • 6 Tbsp Roquefort
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1½ cups quark
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ²⁄₃ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp good-quality honey
  • ½ cup balsamic-fig jam (recipe follows)

| Preparation – Balsamic-Fig Jam | Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and set over medium heat; stir to combine. Bring mixture to a bubble, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to stir occasionally as mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender; blend until smooth. Transfer mixture back to saucepan and set over medium low heat; cook until jam has reached desired consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to a jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

| Preparation – Quark-Roquefort Ice Cream with Balsamic-Fig Jam | In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons milk; set aside. In a medium heatproof bowl, mash Roquefort with salt; set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add quark, remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar and honey and set over medium heat; bring to a bubble, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in cornstarch slurry. Set back over medium heat and continue to whisk until mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add approximately 1 cup of the hot liquid to Roquefort; whisk until mixture is smooth and lumps have dissolved. Pour in remaining hot liquid; whisk until everything is incorporated.

Carefully set bowl of ice cream base in an ice bath; whisk occasionally as mixture cools on countertop, 30 minutes. Remove bowl from ice bath, cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove jam and ice cream base from refrigerator. Stir jam to loosen, adding a bit of water as needed. Whisk ice cream base and pour into ice cream maker; spin according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once ready, transfer to ice cream container, dotting ice cream with jam as you work; finally, swirl with a knife to fully incorporate. Place ice cream in freezer or deep freeze to set, at least 4 to 6 hours.

| To Serve | Scoop or serve terrine-style, sliced with fruit and nuts alongside more balsamic-fig jam.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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