Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

A few weeks ago, my mom did some cherry picking at a local orchard… And, since cherry picking is not one of my post-surgery approved activities, she picked some cherries for me and brought them over to my house. My mom is good like that!

While the cherries were fabulous for snacking (believe me, my hubby and I both ate our share!), I knew I wanted to make something with the cherries… Preferably a dessert (no surprise there). We had some friends stopping by to visit one evening, and I knew I wanted to make a simple dessert.  I debated making a chocolate tart and topping it with the fresh cherries, but I decided to page through Desserts 4 Today (one of my favorite books, especially for last minute entertaining… from the lovely Abby Dodge!). I was reminded of the lovely ice cream puffs that I made a while ago (you’ve seen them here!). I immediately knew that I would make a fresh cherry vanilla ice cream for dessert to serve with the pastry!

Instead of cream puffs, I decided to pipe the choux pastry into eclairs. They were easy to cut in half (lengthwise) and fill with two scoops of ice cream. Topped with some homemade chocolate sauce, they were a deceptively easy and decadent dessert.  I can’t think of a better way to enjoy homemade ice cream!

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
(Makes about 1 1/2 quarts)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Heaping teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted and halved

To make the custard base for the ice cream, combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar until the mixture is lemony in color and falls back into the bowl in ribbons.

Gradually, add about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture to the eggs while continuing to beat the mixture.  This will temper the eggs (raise the temperature slowly) and keep them from scrambling.  Then, pour the egg mixture slowly back into the saucepan stirring into the remainder of the cream mixture.

Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl, stir in the vanilla bean paste, and cool slightly.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the custard. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

While the custard chills, toss together the cherries and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Cover and chill.

Once the custard has chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Just before the ice cream base is finished freezing, add the cherries (and any juice) to the ice cream.  Freeze for a few minutes longer, until the cherries are evenly incorporated and the ice cream is soft serve consistency. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for a few hours until the ice cream has hardened.

Please Note – The link to Desserts 4 Today provided in this post is an Amazon affiliate link.

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24 Responses to Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
  1. Karriann Graf
    June 27, 2011 | 7:08 am

    Delicious! Thanks for the nappe demo, it looks perfect! Happy Baking!

  2. JenniferA
    June 27, 2011 | 7:27 am

    Oh, such an elegant presentation! But more importantly, it sounds so delicious.

  3. Liz @ Blog is the NEw Black
    June 27, 2011 | 7:30 am

    Cherry ice cream?! SOLD!

  4. abby dodge
    June 27, 2011 | 7:38 am

    I’ll just admit this right here and now.. I’d have this for breakfast. Fruit dairy and protein = all the essentials

  5. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon
    June 27, 2011 | 7:49 am

    I second Abby’s comment.

  6. Alan Cooke
    June 27, 2011 | 7:50 am

    That looks delicious! What a neat idea to serve it in the eclairs. must try it =)
    @alanecooke

  7. The Café Sucré Farine
    June 27, 2011 | 8:40 am

    Wow, these look incredible! Those cherries are gorgeous and look so delicious. This would be fun for the 4th of July with a few blueberries thrown in also, thanks, Chris

  8. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies
    June 27, 2011 | 10:28 am

    Jen, they’re just gorgeous. What lucky friends!

  9. Tracy
    June 27, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Such a beautiful ice cream! Perfectly summery, mmm. :-)

  10. maria
    June 27, 2011 | 10:34 am

    What a fantastic summer treat!

  11. Jamie | My Baking Addiction
    June 27, 2011 | 10:40 am

    I am loving all the ice cream that is popping up on my favorite blogs, yours looks truly delicious.

  12. The Cilantropist
    June 27, 2011 | 10:45 am

    I have been obsessed with cherries lately and thinking a lot about making ice cream, but putting them in cream puffs is genius! :)

  13. Amanda
    June 27, 2011 | 10:50 am

    Gorgeous!! I adore the way you have assembled these..just beautiful!

  14. Casey@Good. Food. Stories.
    June 27, 2011 | 2:51 pm

    Sour cherry fanatic here… will be doing this as soon as I get my hot little hands on a few pounds this week!

  15. Kathleen
    June 27, 2011 | 3:11 pm

    Super YUM!!!

  16. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    June 27, 2011 | 7:32 pm

    Stuffed to the brim with ice cream and dripping with chocolate, now that’s my kind of dessert!

  17. TidyMom
    June 27, 2011 | 10:02 pm

    these look delicious!! we haven’t made any ice cream yet this year – may have to pull it out for this one!!

  18. kristy
    June 28, 2011 | 6:39 am

    OMG Jen, these look absolutely stunning! I’ll do anythibng fro this. Slurp…. Bookmarked it for later use. thanks so much & hope you’re having a lovely day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  19. Joyti
    June 28, 2011 | 10:21 pm

    Cherry ice cream…looks and sounds like the embodiment of summer. The whole dessert looks incredible…

  20. Joy
    June 28, 2011 | 10:24 pm

    I’m drooling.

  21. Eliana
    June 30, 2011 | 10:04 am

    My favorite part of summer is seeing all the wonderful ice cream creations everyone comes up with. This one, Jen, could not look more delicious.

  22. [...] if you’ve seen all of the 4th of July dessert ideas I’ve been posting this week (from ice cream to sorbet to s’mores cookie sandwiches!). I just can’t help [...]

  23. [...] Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream from Jen [...]

  24. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    July 9, 2011 | 1:12 am

    My absolute FAVE way to enjoy ice cream :) There’s a place in Paris here that does “profiteroles géants” with ice cream. Now you have me craving one!

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