Time for cherry recipe round 3 of the 10 Pound Cherry Challenge... and I am exciiiiited about this one! Ice cream never fails to excite me. :)
You know how, when you go to an ice cream shop, there's usually the fruity flavors on one side and the other (anti-fruit?) flavors on the other side, like some invisible wall is separating them from cross-contamination? Well, I always walk straight to the no-fruit flavors and take my pick, barely offering a glance to the fruity concoctions on the other side. I love fruit, but when it comes to dessert, fruit better get out of my way, because I'm headed for the chocolate. Or coffee. Or caramel. (You get the picture.) But this ice cream... this ice cream is breaking down that invisible wall. It's combining deep red cherries with dark-as-night chocolate and it's absolutely glorious.
And it's gone. I made it two days ago and it's already gone. #sad
The base of this ice cream starts out really differently, with a sweet cream cheese mixture (similar to the one in this cheesecake ice cream) that I would gladly just eat by the spoonful. It's crazy good on its own, but instead of overwhelming the cherries and chocolate, the flavors all blend together and you just wind up with an ultra-creamy ice cream - creamy in flavor AND texture. The cherries are roasted to bring out all their sweet juiciness (don't even get me started on the joys of roasting fruit), and big chunks of chocolate just make me extra-happy. The best part? Pull it out of the freezer and it's so scoopably soft and creamy you can steal bites with a spoon all day long. (What? Who said that?!)
I really love everything I've made with my ten pounds of cherries so far, but I really, really, really love this ice cream.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Juicy Roasted Cherries and Dark Chocolate Chunks make this extra-creamy ice cream the ultimate sweet indulgence! Plus, it only takes a few minutes to throw all the ingredients together. Easy AND delicious!
- Yield: about 1 quart 1x
- 9 ⅝ ounces (1 ¾ cups) pitted bing cherries, cut into ⅕ths
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon vodka*
Ice Cream Base
- 6 ounces cream cheese, in 1-ounce portions
- 12 ⅜ ounces (1 ½ cups) heavy cream
- 4 ¼ ounces (½ cup) sour cream
- 4 ⅝ ounces (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 5 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used 70%)
- roasted and cooled cherries (see above)
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Toss cherries with 2 tablespoons sugar in an 8" square baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Cherries should have released a lot of their juices.
- Cool for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to an airtight container. Mix in vodka, cover, and chill in fridge thoroughly before using, preferably overnight. Meanwhile, prepare ice cream base, which will also be refrigerated overnight.
- Combine cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a blender and blend together until completely smooth. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until well-chilled, again preferably overnight.
- Before churning, whisk mixture lightly to loosen and smooth out. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Gradually pour in the chopped chocolate after the ice cream has thickened, during the last few minutes of churning. The ice cream may get too thick for the machine before all of the chocolate has been added; if this happens, transfer the ice cream to storage container and fold in remaining chocolate.
- Once the ice cream has been removed from the machine and transferred to container of choice, add the cherry mixture and gently mix in with a spoon just enough to swirl throughout the ice cream without mixing in completely.
- Place a layer of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the ice cream before covering container with a tight layer of plastic wrap or an airtight lid. I also like to keep my container in a plastic bag (preferably airtight) to further assure that the ice cream remains as creamy as possible in the freezer. Freeze until firm before serving.