As you certainly must know by now, one of the things I enjoy most when visiting new places is the more unusual food unique to each destination. And, believe me, Morocco has a lot more to offer beyond tagines and couscous.
Ironically, taking into account I live in the hamburger center of the world, one of my favorite burger joints isn't in Chicago but rather Rabat, Morocco. The La Graille restaurant offers up their take on American-style pizza, salad, burgers, sandwiches and paninis. Their cheeseburgers are out of this world, served on amazingly fresh, light and crusty bread with delicious real potato French fries. I’ve been stopping by La Graille over the past 10 years while visiting Morocco with my husband, not once missing the chance to enjoy a scrumptious chef salad and cheeseburger. (La Graille Restaurant, No 66 Av. Oqba, Agdal – Rabat, Morocco)
Now, enough about this passion of mine, in reality I didn’t come here today to talk about Moroccan-American cheeseburgers, although I certainly got carried away. I really want to tell you about one of the best ice creams I have ever had, and it also happened to be in Morocco this past summer. The fig ice cream I experienced there was just so amazing that I had to get another two scoops, right there, on the spot. This ice cream shop was always crowded and to my discontent, the flavors changed daily so I had to stop by often in hopes of stumbling onto some more dreamy fig ice cream. For this reason I probably ended up trying most of their flavors, if not all. Although many other flavors were good, none compared to the fig! So if you happen to be in Rabat, stop by Passion Crème and have an ice cream (or two) for me! (Passion Crème is located on Rue Alexandrie between Avenue Mohammed V and Avenue Alla Ben Abdallah near the Medina)
Since I’ve been back I’ve been craving that fig ice cream and this recipe although good, is not quite it. But if you like fig and are adventurous when it comes to ice cream flavors, it is worth a try.
Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz’ recipe from The Perfect Scoop
About 22 fresh Black Mission figs
½ cup of water
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, more or less to taste
Trim the tip of the figs' stems and cut the fruits into eights. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine figs, water and lemon zest. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until figs are tender.
Add sugar and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency. Let cool to room temperature.
Puree cool fig mixture in a blender with the cream and lemon juice. Chill thoroughly, and then churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.