A pink-coloured ice cream in a silver vat with scoops and spoons
Photography, Erin Scott

No-Churn Fig and Red Wine Gelato

Impress your guests with this elegant homemade gelato.

Red wine and figs belong together. Wine enhances the fruit’s own notes of honey and berry while adding depth and a splash of sophistication. It makes for pretty ice cream, too, the wine-plumped figs adding a rose blush. This is a no-churn ice cream, as easy to make as mashing up some fruit and whipping some cream. Any fig variety will do here, though the darker-skinned ones will give you those gorgeous ruby flecks. I use Brown Turkey figs from my trusty little tree. This gelato is also delicious drizzled with bittersweet chocolate sauce. –Domenica Marchetti

A pink-coloured ice cream in a silver vat with scoops and spoons

Fig and Red Wine Gelato

Domenica Marchetti's surprisingly-simple recipe for homemade Italian ice cream with figs and red wine.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 quart


  • 1 lb (350g) ripe figs such as Brown Turkey, stemmed and quartered lengthwise, plus figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise, for garnish
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup granulated sugar use less if your figs are already quite sweet
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • cup (160 ml) dry red wine
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 oz (400g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups cold 36% whipping cream see note
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Place a metal 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13-cm) loaf pan in the freezer to chill.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the figs, granulated sugar and lemon juice and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set the saucepan over medium-low heat and use a potato masher to mash up the fruit a bit as it starts to heat up. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, just until the figs have softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and pour in the wine. Simmer until most of the wine has been absorbed and what’s left has thickened to a light syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary to prevent scorching.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cinnamon. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then whisk in the condensed milk.
  • In a bowl, whip the cream by hand with a whisk or with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the fig mixture just until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape the mixture into the chilled loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (I secure the wrap onto the pan with a rubber band). Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
  • To serve, remove the gelato from the freezer 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow it to soften a bit before scooping. Scoop into bowls and garnish each serving with a fig half or two.


When whipping cream, it’s best to start off with everything cold. Chill the bowl and the whisk or beaters in the freezer for about 30 minutes and make sure the cream is straight out of the refrigerator.

A cookbook cover with a plate of pasta on it in a light tan frame


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