Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cherry Ice Cream

Every year, my friend Jane and I go cherry picking, so I was really excited to see this recipe on Simply Recipes just days before our planned date! Unlike most ice cream recipes, this one does not call for eggs, so it's not quite as rich. If you have an ice cream maker (or an attachment for your mixer, like I do) I highly recommend it. Unfortunately we were so busy eating the ice cream that by the time I managed to take a picture, it had softened considerably... don't worry, none was wasted!

1 1/2 cups pitted ripe sweet cherries (from about 3/4 lb cherries)
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp crème de cassis, kirsch, cherry liqueur, or rum (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine, keep in freezer until use

Put cherries, milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the mixture is steamy, then lower the heat to warm and just let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and carefully purée. (Careful because you are dealing with a hot liquid. Make sure you hold the cap down on the top of the blender while puréeing.)

Put mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of cream. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator until completely cold. (Can also place bowl over an ice bath, to speed up the cooling process.)

Before putting the mixture into your ice cream maker, stir in the lemon juice and the crème de cassis or other liqueur (or rum) if you are using. Note that you can skip the alcohol if you want, but the addition of it will help the ice cream from getting too icy, and the flavored liqueurs such as kirsch or crème de cassis can add a nice flavor boost to the ice cream. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Once the ice cream has completed churning, the ice cream should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate. Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours.

Makes about one quart.