Home-made Cherry Ice Cream
This easy Cherry Ice Cream recipe uses juicy fresh cherries which are roasted with kirsch for extra flavour. They are then mixed with a creamy custard base to make a deliciously rich ice cream.
This is a great ice cream to make in July and August when fresh cherries are in season and widely available. I particularly like the large, sweet black cherries but you can use any kind of fresh cherry in this recipe. As with every recipe, the tastier the ingredients, the tastier the dish. I would recommend eating one (or maybe more than one) of the cherries that you plan to use in this ice cream to check the flavour.
What makes this ice cream particularly good is that the cherries are roasted, with kirsch, in order to concentrate their flavour. Not only do the cherries taste pretty good, the process produces a delicious alcohol-infused juice which flavours the ice cream. I also love the colour of this ice cream which is a beautiful soft pink if made with black cherries.
If you have a few too many fresh cherries, you may also like my Cherry Tart.
What you need to know about making ice cream with fresh cherries
- Although you can make this recipe without an ice cream maker, it is a lot easier if you have one. You can buy a basic ice cream maker fairly cheaply.
- It is best to start this recipe the day before you eat it. This will mean that once you have made the basic custard, it will have time to chill down before you put it in the ice cream maker the next day.
- You can also make this ice cream well in advance if that is more convenient. I generally make double the quantity and keep it in the freezer where it will last for up to three months.
- As with most home-made ice creams, it helps to remove the container from the freezer about ten minutes before serving as this will make it easier to scoop.
- You can use any kind of cherries to make this ice cream. However, make sure that they are sweet and full of flavour. The best way to check this is by eating one! The better the flavour of your cherries, the better the flavour of your ice cream.
- Roasting the cherries (step 2) makes a huge difference to the taste of the finished ice cream as it intensifies the taste of the cherries. Leaving the stones in when you roast the cherries adds an additional almond flavour to the ice-cream. It is also easier to remove the stones when the cherries have been roasted. It is really important to cover the dish in which you roast the cherries to stop the delicious juices evaporating. These juices are just as important as the flesh of the cherries in bringing flavour to your ice cream.
- I generally add a dash of kirsch, a cherry-based spirit, when I roast my cherries. However, if you don’t want to include alcohol, that is fine. Just leave it out – the ice cream will still taste good! Also, if you want to choose a different type of spirit, that is fine too. Good alternatives would be brandy, cherry brandy or port.
- This recipe produces a very rich Cherry Ice Cream which means a little goes a long way. Keep the portions small – people can always have seconds.
- I think this Cherry Ice Cream is pretty good just served on its own. However, a spoonful of cherry compote would be a good addition. Also, cherry and chocolate is a good flavour combination so a little grated, chunked or curled chocolate – particularly dark chocolate – would be a good addition. Similarly, a scoop of rich chocolate ice cream would go well with this ice cream.
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Other home-made ice cream recipes
I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other recipes are listed below.
- Coffee Ice Cream – quick and easy, store-cupboard recipe using instant coffee which has an amazingly rich coffee flavour
- Cranberry Ice Cream – if you have any left-over cranberry sauce, you know what to do with it
- Elderflower Ice-cream – easy recipe using elderflower cordial – delicious floral taste of summer!
- Lavender Ice-cream – another gorgeous floral ice cream (bit of a theme here at tastebotanical…) made with fresh or dried culinary lavender
- Lemon Curd Ice Cream – this tangy, three-ingredient recipe is probably the simplest ice cream recipe you will find
- Rose Ice-cream – made with culinary rosewater, this ice cream is the essence of an English summer garden
- Strawberry Balsamic Ice-cream – strawberry ice cream given a lift with a dash of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness
- Thyme ice-cream with honey and mascarpone – thyme, honey and mascarpone…. in an ice cream – what’s not to like?
This easy and delicious ice cream is made with fresh cherries, roasted with kirsch, mixed into a creamy custard base.
- 350 g (12 oz) fresh cherries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons of kirsch (optional)
- 4 egg yolks
- 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
- 425 ml (15 fl oz) double cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Set your oven to 180 C, 400 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Place the fresh cherries in an oven-proof dish. You do not need to remove the stones at this stage. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the kirsch you wish to use it.
- Cover the oven-proof dish with foil or a lid. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside while the cherries cool sufficiently for them to be handled.
- Remove the stones from the cherries and then finely chop the flesh of the cherries.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
- Heat the cream to scalding point in a saucepan or in a microwave. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it.
- Pour the cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
- Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
- The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
- Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and the chopped cherries and any juice that has accumulated in the oven-proof dish while they were roasting.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
- When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
Keywords: Ice cream, cherries, cherry
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