What to do with a beautiful bowl of cherries and a stash of vanilla beans on a hot summer day? If you manage to rescue the cherries before my boys eat them all, you can make David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream and add fresh cherries.
His book The Perfect Scoop needs no introduction from me, and in fact I have a confession to make. It's been on my shelf for a year. An entire year. I flagged all sorts of recipes to try when I got the book last summer, and then it sat. As much as we adore ice cream, one would think I would start churning away the moment it arrived, but I waited. I wanted to try out the recipes in a new ice cream maker instead of the old Donvier we've had for years, which only gives so-so results. My patience was rewarded a month ago when we found a Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream freezer at our local Costco at a great price (less than the online price), and Michael decided I deserved a little present for all my hard work on the taxes this year. (April was bad, you don't want to know.) Anyway, I have put the new ice cream freezer to good use!
When I was a kid, I was one of those people who would choose vanilla over chocolate, though butter pecan did reign supreme for a while. I prefer Philadelphia-style ice cream (no egg yolks) and Lebovitz's version is delicious and very creamy. This is gone-to-heaven good, and the sweet cherries paired with the vanilla makes a tasty combination for summer. I added the fresh cherries during the mixing process, though next time I will try soaking the cherries with the cream mixture with the hope of a stronger cherry flavor throughout. The recipe calls for heavy cream, but Lebovitz says you can use whole milk for parts of the cream, and I plan to play around with this a bit trying half & half and all whole milk to see what happens to the texture. In any case, I'm glad I finally got to try this book that has been teasing me for the last year.
[Updated June 26, 2012.]
Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2-quart sauce pan
- plastic container with lid
- ice cream freezer
- 3 cups heavy cream (or 2 cups (500 mil) heavy cream + 1 cup (250 mil) whole milk)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 vanilla bean (split in half lengthwise)
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cherries (stones removed)
- In the medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup (250 mil) of the cream and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Stir the mixture over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extra and the rest of the cream or cream + milk.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in a covered plastic container, overnight is best. Remove the vanilla bean before churning, just rinse it and reserve for another use. Follow the manufacturers directions for your ice cream freezer.
- Freeze the ice cream until solid, at least 4 hours. Store in a covered plastic container.
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