In honor of National Ice Cream Day, I'd like to share this recipe for Very Cherry Gelato. The cherries are roasted, which not only intensifies their flavor, but it also prevents them from freezing too hard in the ice cream (a tip from David Lebovitz). Let's get churning.
I love Boyajian products and this stuff is pretty amazing. If you don't have any, feel free to use Kirsch, Amaretto, or Bourbon.
The cherries are left whole with the pits inside. Sprinkle with a little sugar and a splash of natural cherry flavor (or other alcohol).
They roast in the oven for only 15 minutes. They'll lose a little of their lovely color, but the intensified flavor will more than make up for that.
The pits are very easy to remove after the cherries are roasted.
Oooh.. and look at all that lovely cherry juice. It's packed full of flavor so we'll definitely add it to the ice cream. Here's the recipe.
Very Cherry Gelato
- 40 whole sweet cherries, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon natural cherry flavor (or Kirsch, Amaretto, Bourbon)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To prepare cherries:
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place whole, stemmed cherries in an oven safe dish. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and natural cherry flavor; toss well.
- Roast cherries, uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Using gloved hands, remove pits and discard (save the juice from the pan). Chop cherries into small pieces. Store cherries and their juice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To prepare ice cream base:
- Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the milk and heavy cream together until small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
- Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk/cream mixture into the yolks.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the milk/cream mixture and heat over medium-high, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour ice cream base into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
To make ice cream:
- Process ice crema base, chopped cherries, and cherry juice in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1 quart.