Sour Cherry Ice Cream

Every so often the following happens at our house: Jeff accompanies me to the market. We pick out something that has just come into season. Then he comes up with an idea that I don’t quite go along with. We try it, and it rocks. This past week, it was sour cherry ice cream.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cherry ice cream. I could eat my weight in Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia if given the chance. But Bing cherries, not sour ones, are for ice cream, I thought. Tart cherries are better in pies and clafoutis.


It’s been a while since I’ve gotten this excited about ice cream that came out of our kitchen. (Later this summer I plan to experiment with sage and rosemary ice cream — hoping to recreate some I tasted in Santa Fe.) I took a recipe from Williams-Sonoma and merely used sour cherries in place of Bing. The tartness of the cherries are fabulous here. The cherries REALLY shine. Just look at them.

Also, this ice cream is ready to scoop the minute it’s removed from the freezer. It doesn’t freeze rock solid.

Sour Cherry Ice Cream
barely adapted from Williams-Sonoma.com

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted and halved
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons kirsch

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and milk. Heat, stirring occasionally, until steam begins to rise from the surface, about 5 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Gradually add the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 7 to 9 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl and stir in the vanilla. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cherries and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are soft and have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened, 8 to 9 minutes. Strain the cherries, reserving the liquid (you should have 1/3 to 1/2 cup liquid). Transfer the cherries to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice and kirsch. Let the liquid and cherries cool to room temperature.

Remove the custard from the ice water and stir in the reserved liquid. Cover the custard and cherries and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the cherries during the last 3 to 4 minutes of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.

Makes about 5 cups.


1 Response to “Sour Cherry Ice Cream”

  1. 1 Julia
    June 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Looks SOOO delicious, E, as does the rest of the website. I’m drooling. I’m totally going to try that cauliflower recipe. And I can’t believe you make your own ice cream! My kitchen ambitions have so far not really extended to dessert, and what I do make does not look anywhere near as photo-lovely as your creations – last night’s chicken pot pie looked a hot mess, but it tasted good.
    And no, I didn’t send anything to Gabi — wish I had though! You’ve inspired me. Watch the mail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 36 other followers

search by month

recipes by category


%d bloggers like this: