Ricotta Gelato with Pistachio and Fig

Ricotta Gelato with Pistachio + Figs

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (



For the Fig Swirl

  • 10 ounces fresh figs, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • water, as needed

For the Pistachio Swirl

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/41/2 cup milk, plus more as needed

For the Ricotta Ice Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Make the Fig Swirl

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment (to prevent sticking and for easier clean-up), then place the figs, honey and salt on top. Mix together with your hands, then spread them out into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the figs are caramelized and bubbling. Remove from the oven, and while still hot, use a fork to mash the figs into little bits. Use some water, as needed, to loosen the mixture if the honey has over-caramelized in some spots. You want it to be quite syrupy, as it will thicken as it cools. Transfer to a bowl, then set aside and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the Pistachio Swirl

  1. Place the pistachios and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulverize on high until sandy. Add 1/4 cup of milk and continue processing until it forms a smooth paste. Add more milk, as needed, until the mixture is pourable, but still thick, like the consistency of pancake batter. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the Ricotta Ice Cream

  1. Line a strainer with a few paper towels or cheese cloth and place over a bowl. Add the ricotta and allow it to drain for about 1 hour.
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the egg yolks to a bowl and whisk to break them up. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the egg yolks while continuously whisking. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan, turn the heat to low, and use a rubber spatula to stir until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour through a strainer to catch any lumps, then whisk in the ricotta and heavy cream. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
  3. Pour the ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and process via manufacturers instructions. When the ice cream has finished churning, transfer half to a container, then dot half of the fig and pistachio mixtures over top. Use a butter knife to gently swirl in the fig and pistachio. Repeat with the remaining ice cream, fig, and pistachio. Immediately transfer to the freezer and allow it to firm up and freeze for several hours, overnight is best.
  4. Scoop and enjoy!