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.