So, we love cherries. My husband loves them, I love them and our 2 year old Coco loves them. So much so that the one old cherry tree at Roy Ridge wasn’t enough and we planted 6 more, then another one, and then one more for good measure. So believe me when I say that I am just as surprised as you that this is the first year we’ve had enough cherries to do anything with. The birds always beat us to them. But this year…maybe it was the bird feeder, the hawk flying over head or my idle threats from last year…we have cherries! Most of them of the sweet, not sour, variety, so a pie was not in the cards…but ice cream on the other hand….perfect! So, I pulled out my pitter and the wedding gift ice cream maker and made cherry magic!
- 4 cups cherries
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups half and half
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup brandy
Pit the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry pitter…well….I’d go out and buy ice cream, pitting cherries by hand is miserable. Add cherries and 3/4 cup sugar to a saucepan and stir until well coated. Let stand for 1 1/2 hours until all the cherry juices start to flow. Bring the mixture to a nice simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until needed.
Whisk sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl until well blended. Bring the half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk sugar and egg mixture into the saucepan with the half and half. Stir in vanilla extract. Continue stirring over medium heat without boiling until you have a thick custard – around 5 minutes. Take off of the heat and stir in whipping cream. Refrigerate until cold. Remove from refrigerator, stir in brandy and add to your ice cream maker. We have a Cuisinart which is about as easy as you can get – set the base on the counter, set the drum (which lives in our freezer) on top of it, turn it on, pour the custard in the top. When the ice cream starts to get firm add the cherry mixture and continue to churn. I usually let it go until it’s the thickness of slightly melted ice cream. I spoon it out of the ice cream maker and into a lidded bowl, pack it down with a spoon, close the lid and put it in the bottom of the freezer for a couple of hours. If you’re feeling really decadent, serve it with shaved chocolate on top!