When I think about the summer, there are certain fruits I simply can’t ignore. One of those fruits are cherries, and if there’s one thing that makes cherries stand out stunningly it’s ice cream! So here’s one of my personal favourites; cherry ice cream with fresh whole fruits.
There is just something so uplifting about the taste of cherries. Be it pies, candy or ice cream they all have two things in common. The wonderful, red colour that cherries bring with them and their delicious sweetness. This fresh cherry ice cream combines exactly that.The wonderful texture and flavour of ripe cherries and the beautiful colour which gives this ice cream a red marble effect.
While I do love ripple ice creams, I am a huge fan of fruit chunks in ice cream which is why I tried to combine both in this ice cream. Half the cherries were simmered down to a delicious coulis while the other half got roughly chopped and marinated in it for a few hours.
And here’s for a quick editors confession; it was quite a test of patience. I had to muster all my self-control to not eat that delicious fruit mixture on its own. Frankly, I am sure I will make it many more times just use it as delicious ice cream sauce because it is that tasty.
There is just something so uplifting about the taste of cherries. To me, they are the perfect summer fruit because that’s when they are in season and at their best. You can, however, make this ice cream out of season and use frozen cherries. They will do just as fine but you won’t be able to have those delicious fresh bits of cherries that still have a bite to them. But no matter if you choose fresh or frozen fruit, the result will look stunning and taste delicious.
I love to serve this cherry ice cream with frozen blueberries and some grated chocolate. It is a beautiful flavour combination. The sweet ice cream goes so well with the freshness of the berries and slight bitterness of the dark chocolate.
As I scribble down my personal preference, I started wondering: how do you like to eat your cherry ice cream?
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk*, can size : 400ml (13-15oz)
- 4 tbsp cane sugar, or any other light coloured sweetener
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp arrow root powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 400g (1¾ cups) cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp cane sugar, or sweetener of your preference
- Pour the contents of the coconut milk cans into a saucepan. If it is the first time you use coconut milk in cans then don’t be alarmed by seeing a thick layer of rather solid cream and a big part of milky water. That is normal. It happens because the coconut milk separates inside the can. Take a whisk and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Take about 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the coconut milk out of the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add the arrow root powder to the small portion of coconut milk in the small bowl. The arrowroot powder will make sure the base thickens once this is added to the bigger pan. Mix until it is perfectly combined and place aside for now.
- Return to the saucepan and add the 4 tbsp of cane sugar, salt and vanilla. Gently heat over low to medium heat and stir until the sweetener is dissolved and all is well combined. Heat until warm but not boiling.
- Pour the arrow root powder and coconut mixture into the warm coconut milk and whisk. Increase the heat to medium and keep whisking – don’t leave the pot now. Make sure to whisk it every now and then while making sure the heat is not too high. It is crucial to never let it come to a boil.
- In about 5-7 minutes the arrow root powder will thicken the mixture and you will be left with a beautiful ice cream base that only needs chilling in the fridge. You will know it is done when you can draw a line with a fingertip on the back of a wooden spoon.
- I chill my ice cream base in a small metal bowl and place a plate on top of it. You will have a small layer of skin forming on the top of the mixture though you can prevent that by stirring it every 10 minutes while it cools down. It is not necessary though because the processing in the ice cream machine usually takes care of it.
- While the ice cream base is cooling down in the fridge place about half the cherries into a saucepan. Add 2 tbsp cane sugar and gently heat until they start to fall apart and liquify. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve and discard the skins. Add the pure liquid back to the pot and simmer until it is reduced to half the volume. At this point pour the hot cherry sauce into a bowl and add the other half of the raw cherries. Give it a gentle stir and let it cool down.
- The ice cream base should be fully cooled down before you pour it into your ice cream maker. Depending on the type of ice cream maker that you have you will have to cool its bowl a day in advance. Simply read the instructions of your ice cream maker. I bought an extra bowl with mine so I always have one stashed in the freezer for instant use.
- Once the base has cooled take it out of the fridge and pour it into your ice cream maker and run it until the ice cream is nearly formed. Transfer the soft ice cream it to a container and drizzle the cherry sauce on top. Take a fork and gently fold it into the mixture to create swirls. Don't overdo it or you will end up with a uniform colour instead of a nice marbled pattern.
- Cover it with wax paper** and leave it in the freezer for another 2 hours. Doing this will give you the perfect ice cream that can be scooped neatly. To serve take it out of the freezer for a few minutes to soften. Scoop it into bowls and serve with fresh berries if you have.
**Covering the ice cream base with wax paper or baking paper prevents ice crystals from forming on top of it.
*** Nutritional information is based on the products and brands that I use.