Monday, March 29, 2010

Cherry-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Possibly one of the greatest perks to having a wedding is the fact that you get to make a huge list of everything your heart has ever desired and then everyone you or your mother has ever met will go out and buy those things for you.

And if there's anything at all that those people overlooked, be it garlic mincers or fancy microplaners or 100,000 thread count sheets, you can always return the duplicates and buy the rest of the loot yourself. (before you think me shallow and doomed to marital failure, note I said this is the best thing about a wedding, not about the marriage).

Everything we got for our wedding was super cool (thanks everyone...again...and if you're in the very small minority that maybe somehow missed the thankyou card boat, I'm very sorry, and thank you very much.) However, there were two things I'd set my sights on as soon as I wrapped my head around the receiving of gifts deal: the juicer and the ice cream maker.

The juicer gets action more days than not, but somehow this weekend was the first time we used our icecream maker! I talked about it non-stop for 6 months before we received it, then it sat in the basement for another 7 months! What was I thinking?

Now that we've done it, I'm not sure we'll be able to stop. I'm already planning the next batch.

When I chose this recipe I was thinking about Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, my absolute favorite ice cream in the world. Unfortunately, this is not that ice cream. It is very good, though, with cherry and chocolate chunks, and is even better if you let it soften a bit after the freezer and before you eat it. Next I'm going to try a custard-based ice cream; I want to maximize the creaminess of the next batch.

1 1/2 cups pitted ripe sweet cherries (from about 3/4 lb cherries) (i used frozen)
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp Amaretto, cherry liqueur, or rum (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine, keep in freezer until use (I used half ghiradelli semi sweet bar and have hersey's special dark bar)

Put cherries, milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the mixture is steamy, then lower the heat to warm and just let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend the mixture just a little bit. I wanted cherry chunks in my ice cream, and more than a couple whirls will annihilate the chunks.

Put mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of cream. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator until completely cold. (Can also place bowl over an ice bath, to speed up the cooling process.) (Apparently it's really important that the batter for ice cream is quite cold)

Before putting the mixture into your ice cream maker, stir in the lemon juice and the Amaretto or other liqueur if you are using. Note that you can skip the alcohol if you want, but the addition of it will help the ice cream from getting too icy, and the amaretto can add a nice flavor boost to the ice cream. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Once the ice cream has completed churning, the ice cream should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate. Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours.

Makes about one quart.

I doubled the batch because we have a three quart machine. I didn't realize at the time that this would make a LOT of ice cream. We still have a huge bowlful in out freezer. Feel free to come help us eat it!

1 comment:

  1. one - that looks amazing. i want an ice cream maker!

    two - your wedding present is still sitting in my closet. it will help you cook! i need to get that to you unless you already got one yourself, in which case i need to get you something else. geez i am a great friend.