Cherry Chunk Ice Cream
Very few people endeavor to make their own ice cream. Why is that? I love a good store bought ice cream (doesn't everybody?), but homemade ice cream is so easy to make and utterly delicious. Like all good things, it takes a few good ingredients and a little bit of time. Fresh churned ice cream is the best summer treat.
My refrigerator has been overstuffed with cherries since early June. Markets in Washington are bursting with ripe, gorgeous cherries. It's hard not to scoop them up by the handfuls. This recipe comes from Molly Moon's Ice Cream shop. The first time I made this recipe, while delicious, I felt like it needed more cherry flavor and a deeper red color. I remedied this by upping the amount of cherries in the recipe and juicing some of them, both for the flavor and the color. Depending on the cherries you use, this ice cream can range from a bubble gum pink to a deep ruby red. A little bit of kirsch, a cherry brandy, brightens the cherry flavor.
While most any sweet cherry will work for this ice cream, I tend to prefer the darker Bing Cherries over the Rainier Cherries. Be careful when squeezing the cherries for juice, they tend to squirt all over the place. I've definitely had cherry juice in my eye a couple of times - not fun! Also, in lieu of dark chocolate, I used milk chocolate chunks because I had them on hand. Truthfully, any chocolate would be delicious in this ice cream, just make sure to chop the pieces up quite small (about pea sized) because when frozen the chocolate quickly turns into a chewing exercise for your teeth.
Cheers to summer and fresh homemade ice cream!
Cherry Chunk Ice Cream
Source: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, slightly altered
Makes about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pitted and coarsely chopped cherries
3/4 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate, roughly pieces the size of a pea
Splash of kirsch, cherry brandy, 1-2 tablespoons (optional)
- Combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt in saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat whisking occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/2 cup chopped cherries. Just before milk mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and add remaining 1 cup cherries. Using hand, squeeze the reserved 1/2 cup cherries into the milk and cherry mixture.
- Pour into shallow pan (like a pie dish) and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, one to two hours.
- When mixture is cold, add kirsch into mixture (if using) and pour into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to an airtight glass, plastic or paper container. Cover and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about four hours.