You know you want some.
Ice cream, that is.
While ice cream is welcome any time of the year, there is something special about eating ice cream in the summer. Maybe it's the heat and humidity. Maybe it's the chance to be outside while eating an ice cream cone as it melts down your hand. Who knows. All I know is that right now we are simmering in the heat of summer and cherries are in season. It is the perfect time of year to make ice cream.
Out of all the stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, etc), cherries are by far my favorite. I look forward each season to all the awesome things you can make with cherries -- cherry pie, cherry cobbler, clafoutis, cherry crisp.
And cherry ice cream.
We live in Cincinnati. If you know about Cincinnati, you know that Graeter's Ice Cream stores are peppered all over town just waiting for you to spend your hard earned cash on creamy, delicious ice cream. They have a few good flavors and they succeed in satisfying the sweet tooth and the cravings you have. In fact, their best flavor in the Black Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream. It's worth stopping at a Graeters near you to have a taste.
But, let's say, you don't have Graeter's near you. Or let's say, you are like me and want to make as much from scratch as possible (crazy, I know... maybe it's a sickness). Or perhaps you have a bunch of sweet cherries laying around begging to be used up.
Well, then, I have a recipe for you...
As with anything you make from scratch, there is a satisfaction factor. You know, where you stand back and say, "Yep. I made this. And it's awesome." This ice cream has a high satisfaction score. And one more thing ... this recipe should ideally be started the day before you intend to churn your ice cream. This gives the ice cream base time to get cold and develop in flavor.
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Yield: 1 quart
Special Equipment: Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream Base:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half and half
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/4 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Make the Ice Cream Base:
In a 2-quarts saucepan, bring the cream and half and half to an almost boil over medium heat (little bubbles will form along the sides of the pan). Watch it or will boil over.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined. Add about 1/2 of the hot cream mixture to the yolks and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the pan with the rest of the cream. While stirring constantly, cook the mixture over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until it thickens slightly and reaches 170ºF. Pour into a bowl. Place bowl in an ice bath and stir until the mixture cools to about 50ºF. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Cover and refrigerate mixture until cold, about 4 hours or overnight.
Combine the pitted cherries and the sugar in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least a 1/2 hour or until ready to use.
Churn the ice cream:
When you are ready to churn the ice cream, mix together the cherries, chocolate chunks, and ice cream base. Pour into the bowl of the ice cream maker.
When churning is complete (according to the machine's directions), scoop the ice cream in to a container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. (If you can wait that long... I know it's hard.)
Enjoy. And be sure to share.