Sweet Cherries are in season; this ice cream is a perfect way to show them off to advantage. If you’re making this ice cream with canned cherries, which is perfectly acceptable if sweet cherries aren’t in season, make sure you drain them well.
Toasted Almond, Cherry, Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
1/2 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped whole almonds
3 ounces high quality (preferably European) dark chocolate
Ice Cream Base:
2 eggs - See egg notes below
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
- Mix the cherries in a bowl with 1/2 cup of the sugar (save the remaining 1/2 cup for the ice cream base). Refrigerate until time to add to the base
- Toast the almonds in a preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes; remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until time to add to the base.
- Put the chocolate on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife make thin slices (the slices will fall apart, creating different size shavings and chunks – this is what you want).
- Refrigerate the chocolate chunks until time to add to the base.
- Measure the eggs, milk, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cream and almond extract in the blender or food processor and process for several minutes until the sugar is dissolved. If you don’t have a blender, just whisk it in a bowl until smooth.
- Pour the base mixture into the frozen bowl of an automatic ice cream maker and let it run until it begins to thicken and freeze. Add the almonds, cherries, and chocolate and let the machine run until it is very thick and set. (It will still be soft).
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and put in the freezer until ready to serve.
- Egg Notes: I always purchase very fresh eggs from a busy supermarket, and have never had a problem using them raw. However, if you prefer not to use them, you may use pasteurized egg substitute instead.
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