Black Cherry Ice Cream

Even though it’s been one of the coldest summers I can remember in Los Angeles, I still have to have ice cream.  Come to think of it, even if it were January and the dead of winter, I’d still want ice cream.  And while I could make chocolate, or vanilla, or even coffee chocolate chip (which I have here), I couldn’t make any of the fruit ice creams I’ve been making.  All right, I could.  But I wouldn’t be able to make them with the fresh fruit I’ve been able to get thanks to the summer season and our wonderful farmer’s market.  And last week… I bought the most wonderfully amazing, sweet cherries. 

While they’re very good on their own, I thought I’d try them in some ice cream.  And as luck would have it, a friend gave me a recipe for black cherry sherbet.  I whipped some up and discovered… it was just okay.  Probably had something to do with the 5 bottles of black cherry soda the recipe called for.  Anyway, it made me think that while the cherries didn’t work as a sherbet, maybe they’d work as a nice creamy ice cream.  So, I did what any amateur chef would do and gave it a shot.  The result – pure heaven.  It was rich and creamy and oh so good.  I’m definitely going to be making more.  And if you’re a fan of cherries and ice cream, you should too.

Black Cherry Ice Cream

  • 3 cups of cherries (pitted and sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2  cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, cook cherries and 1 cup of sugar for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until chilled.

While the cherries are chilling, in another medium sauce pan, combine the milk, cream and vanilla.  Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the milk, cream, vanilla mixture is simmering, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and the rest of the sugar in a medium bowl.  Beat with a mixer on medium speed until the mixture is thick, smooth and pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes.

Pour out 1 cup of the hot milk, cream, vanilla mixture.  With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream.  When thouroughly combined, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and stir to combine.  Pour in the juice from the cherries.  Cook, stirring constantly, over medium low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. 

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the cherries.  Once folded, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the refrigerator and chill completely, about 3-4 hours.

Once chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and follow your machine’s instructions.  Five minutes before it’s done churning, add in the chocolate chips.  Once finished mixing, pour the ice cream in an air tight container in the freezer for at least 2 hours and serve.