Sunday, June 3, 2012

I is for: Ice Cream with Cherries, Chocolate & Amaretto {guest post}

Apologies, apologies. Behind on the blog big-time. But I have a good excuse. I've been busy being a dutiful bridesmaid for the my friend Kimberly Grubbs. It was a fantastic weekend in St. Louis (more on that to come), and now I'm tired and delayed on my layover and playing catch-up.

Thankfully, the lovely Jullie Anne has whipped up this scrumptious-looking take on Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia (which just happens to be one of my faves). She had far more luck than I did with the new ice cream maker (I'm certain I got a faulty one). I'm anxious to exchange mine so I can get a properly functioning one and make this ice cream, pronto! Thanks again Jullie Anne!
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Hello, again! This week, I’m helping Jaymee out in the form of ICE CREAM :) Actually, I wouldn’t have even bought an ice cream maker if it weren’t for her. Jaymee tweeted awhile back that she went into Costco for paper towels, chicken, and beer… but she came out with an ice cream maker instead. 

I went to Costco a couple of days ago and, because of that tweet, I couldn’t help but check out this bargain appliance she spoke of…So after going in just for some coffee and ribs…I, too, emerged with an ice cream maker. And it’s definitely a bargain. 

A Cuisinart, regularly priced around $60, is only $23 at Costco. (Sweeet, right??) When I came home with my new purchase, I wanted to try it out right away. It’s like when I was a little girl and I’d get a new Barbie. I’d want to rip open the box and play around with her and dress her up in a million different outfits and…Well, you see where I’m going with this. Convenient size, style, the potential for variety…Kitchen gadgets: toys for grown ups. And isn’t playtime in the kitchen just the best? You could literally go a million different ways when making homemade ice cream. But, for now, I kept the flavor planning pretty simple…start with what I’ve already got on hand.


My fruit bowl was overflowing after a recent farmers market trip, and the ripe cherries were begging to be used. The light bulb went off. If there’s anything that just shouts, “IT’S SUMMERTIME!”…It’s cherries. Growing up, I had a huge cherry tree in my backyard. These tiny, sweet orbs would take over the kitchen, spilling out of bowls, baskets, plastic bags…everywhere. I always knew the summer season was in full swing when we’d start giving away bagfuls to neighbors, family, and friends. I did some looking around online, and I found a recipe for Cherry IceCream with Chocolate Chips and Amaretto. I thought this was perfect to break in my ice cream maker and an ideal summer snack to share on E is for Eat! 


To start, you’ll want to cut up and pit the cherries. You could use a cherry pitter to make the task go by faster, but it’s nothing a good ol’ paring knife can’t handle. At any rate, there’s some fun to be had in getting your fingers stained cherry-red. (My curious niece wandered into the kitchen while I was doing this, and she absolutely loved picking apart the cherries. So if you’ve got kids, this is a great way to get them involved!)


Next, the milk & cream. Any regular, whole milk that you can find at the grocery store is fine. But, since I was making ice cream for the first time, I decided to go for something different. Straus Family Creamery is located in Marshall, CA (off of Tomales Bay!) and offers organic dairy products. I also LOVE their glass bottles. I did, however, have a semi-awkward moment when I went to pour out some milk and…uh…nothing came out. So, note to readers: This is old-fashion, cream-top milk and cream. Don’t forget to mix in that layer or scoop it out entirely before you pour.


Combine the cherries, milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat this mixture until the milk/cream starts to steam, then lower the flame as much as possible and let the mixture warm for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and puree the cherries/milk by using a blender or an immersion blender. For this step, I recommend using the handheld immersion blender because you’re dealing with a hot liquid and it makes for a much easier/safer process. Blend everything until it’s as smooth as you prefer. 



Then, transfer the blended cherries to a bowl and mix in the remaining ¾ cup of cream. Refrigerate your ice cream base until it’s completely chilled. And by “chilled,", I don’t mean “well, it’s barely even warm anymore." Chilled, alright? Alright… (Place the bowl in an ice bath if you really, really want to speed things up.)



Let’s talk about “the extras”, real quick. The recipe I found calls for finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, but I found these Dark Chocolate Mini Chunks at Whole Foods. They were just the right size for mixing into the ice cream. Also, the recipe says to stir Amaretto Liqueur into the ice cream base right before churning. Cherries and almonds are a classic flavor combination, but you can also use Kirsch (a cherry liqueur), use rum, or completely omit the alcohol. If you ask me, booze and ice cream? I’m in. The alcohol also happens to keep the ice cream from becoming too icy and hard. But if small children will be sampling your concoction, almond extract is a reasonable alternative.


You’re now ready to start churning some ice cream! Have your ice cream maker completely set up (freezer bowl, mixing arm, and lid in place), and then switch it on. Carefully pour the cherry base into the freezer bowl through the spout. After 5 minutes and the ice cream has started to thicken, pour in the chocolate chunks and chopped cherries. (Which, I totally forgot about, so I ended up folding them in at the end.) Churn for about 15-20 more minutes. The ice cream will be thick and barely moving, but still at a “soft serve” stage.


Your yummy frozen treat is basically ready to eat at this point, but I recommend transferring the ice cream to an air tight container and freezing for a couple more hours. This extra step allows it to really firm up.



Garnish with more cherries, drizzle on some chocolate sauce, or just eat it straight out of the container. Find the nearest porch or patio, and get comfy in a nice big chair. It’d be really perfect if a summer breeze went by at this point…But, above all else, sit back, and enjoy your Homemade Cherry Ice Cream. Summer in a bowl :)

Ice Cream with Cherries, Dark Chocolate, & Amaretto {Cherry Garcia Copycat}

by Jullie Anne Caparas
Keywords: dessert amaretto cherry dark chocolate cream ice-cream

Ingredients (1 quart)
  • 1 ½ cups Pitted & Halved Fresh Cherries
  • 1/3 cup Pitted & Chopped Fresh Cherries (for mixing in)
  • 1 ¾ cup Heavy Cream
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate OR Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Put cherries, milk, 1 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 low and let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour mixture into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and carefully puree.
  2. Put mixture into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the remaining ¾ cup of cream. Chill in the refrigerator until completely cold.
  3. Before putting the mixture into your ice cream maker, stir in the Amaretto. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Once the ice cream has completed churning, the ice cream should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the chocolate and cherries. Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
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6 comments:

  1. Where does one get blank pint sized ice cream containers like that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I found those containers at Sur La Table! :)

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  2. Looks delicious! I love anything made with Strauss Family milk. Where can I buy it by the bottle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kari! I buy my bottles at Whole Foods. If you're in the San Francisco area, I know that BiRite Market and Rainbow Grocery also carry Straus Creamery milk.

      Delete
  3. looks delicious.. gonna try it soon :D visit www.gourmandia.com for more delicious recipes..

    ReplyDelete

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