03 July 2010

The Making Of... Cherry Ice Cream

Today was my second kid's first birthday. After buying some beautiful Bing cherries at the farmer's market last week, and seeing my son down pound after pound of cherries, I figured that some cherry ice cream was in order to celebrate his special day.

Cherry ice cream -- or cherry dessert of any sort, for that matter -- is something of a labor of love. To prepare, you must stem and pit the cherries, which is a fairly monotonous task. I, however, am a pro at delegation. :)

The first picture of this post pretty well summarizes a key aspect of my kitchen: a communal gathering spot to share in a family cooking activity. I definitely had a vision of an "all hands on deck" approach to meal prep when I designed the kitchen.

In the case of cherry ice cream, a well-captioned photo essay does more to describe the journey than words could possibly do. So without further delay, here is our fresh Bing cherry simple ice cream:

On the right, my 3yo daughter stems two pounds of cherries. On the left, my 78yo mother pits them with a chopstick. She is pitting them over a bowl to catch the cherry juices. Waste not one bit of cherry goodness!

Two pounds of cherries, plus their juices, are coarsely pureed using one of my favorite appliances: my Kitchenaid food processor. This guy is about 10 years old.

In a pot, I heat 1.5 cup of heavy whipping cream to just under boiling on the induction, then remove it from heat. Then I mix in 1 cup of sugar, until fully dissolved. (I actually just turned on the hob to heat up the cream, and in the scant time it took me to measure 1c of sugar, the cream already just reached boiling. I immediately shut it off when I came back with the sugar.)

In a wide glass Pyrex bowl, I mix the cream/sugar mixture with the pureed cherries. Pink goodness. Store this in the fridge, covered, for 8h or overnight.

If you don't add plastic wrap to the surface (which I don't), then the cherry that is exposed to air will slowly darken to an almost cocoa-like appearance. This is rather inconsequential; a quick stir returns the cream mixture to the bright pink color.

Pour into ice cream maker and process per your appliance directions. We churned ours for 30 minutes. The ice cream maker is really loud, so I put it in the appliance garage and closed the door while it was churning. As the cream incorporates air, the color gets lighter.

Scrape ice cream into freezer container for storage (if you don't just eat it right away...)



Christie said...

Yum! Are your mother and daughter for hire?

mom2reese said...

Yum! I've been thinking about how good cherry gelato would taste after you mentioned making cherry ice cream, but progressed no further than my fantasies when I thought of the effort of pitting cherries, LOL.

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