Life is a Bowl of Cherry Ice Cream

I’m a big fan of ice cream, especially when its so hot outside. Stephan is an even bigger fan of ice cream than me… he has the ultimate sweet tooth. Kinda makes sense that he married an ex-pastry chef, right?

One of my favorite flavors is cherry ice cream, which is quite convenient as its officially cherry season. I tried to find a recipe in one of my many cookbooks for cherry ice cream, but had absolutely no luck. So I decided to throw some stuff together and it worked out pretty well. Then I decided to do a bittersweet chocolate ribbon through the ice cream that didn’t go quite so well. It ended up being more of a chocolate smear than a ribbon. It was very tasty, but not what I was hoping for in terms of aesthetics. Oh well, can’t win them all… did I say it tasted good?

Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

1 1/2 c cherries, pitted
1 tbsp cherry brandy
3/4 c sugar, divided
1 c whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
Ganache Ribbon
1/4 c heavy cream
4 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Puree half of the cherries and chill. Roughly chop the remainder of the cherries and stir in the brandy and sugar. Let macerate (sit at room temperature) for at least 2 hours.

2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald it (bring slowly up to boiling point). While this is heating, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick in a small bowl. Pour about 1/2 cup of the scalded milk into the egg yolks and sugar and stir well. Then pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently, stirring until the custard thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Do not allow to boil, or it will curdle. When you can run you finger over the back of your spoon and it leaves a streak, it’s time to remove the saucepan from the heat. Immediately, strain custard in a fine mesh strainer and into a metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl into an ice bath, and stir until it has cooled. Stir in the vanilla and heavy cream. Pour into a container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

3. Make the ganache. Microwave the cream in a small bowl until very hot. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the ganache is melted and smooth. Let this come to room temperature. It should thicken but remain pourable.

4. Pour the custard and pureed cherries into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the chopped cherries with liquid towards the end of the freezing process.

5. Scrape 1/3 of the churned ice cream into a container and pour a bit of the chocolate ganache over it in a stream. Repeat with the remainder of ice cream and ganache. (This is where I messed up… I tried to fold the ganache into the ice cream, which basically just mixed it together. I don’t think you will need to stir at all if you add ice cream in increments)

Makes about 2 pints of ice cream.

Note: You can also add finely chopped or grated chocolate at the end instead of the ganache ribbon.