Wash the figs, cut off the stem ends, and cut in quarters into a non-corroding saucepan. Add the water and cook slowly until very tender, about 20 minutes, stirring often. The cooking time will depend on the variety of fig you are using and how thick the skin is. Coarsely chop the figs in a food processor, or put them through a food mill, or crush well with a potato masher. Warm 1 cup of the cream with the sugar in a non-corroding saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk the egg yolks just enough to mix them and whisk in some of the hot cream mixture to warm them. Return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon. Strain through a medium-fine strainer into a container. Add the remaining cream and 1-1/2 cups of the fig puree. Flavor to taste with a few drops each of vanilla and Cognac or brandy. Chill thoroughly. Freeze according to the instructions with your ice-cream maker.