Cherry Ice Cream – tastebotanical – made with boozy fresh cherries

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Home-made Cherry Ice Cream

This easy Cherry Ice Cream recipe uses juicy fresh cherries which are roasted with kirsch for extra flavour. They are then mixed with a creamy custard base to make a deliciously rich ice cream.

This is a great ice cream to make in July and August when fresh cherries are in season and widely available. I particularly like the large, sweet black cherries but you can use any kind of fresh cherry in this recipe. As with every recipe, the tastier the ingredients, the tastier the dish. I would recommend eating one (or maybe more than one) of the cherries that you plan to use in this ice cream to check the flavour.

What makes this ice cream particularly good is that the cherries are roasted, with kirsch, in order to concentrate their flavour. Not only do the cherries taste pretty good, the process produces a delicious alcohol-infused juice which flavours the ice cream. I also love the colour of this ice cream which is a beautiful soft pink if made with black cherries.

If you have a few too many fresh cherries, you may also like my Cherry Tart.

Cherry Ice Cream

What you need to know about making ice cream with fresh cherries

  • Although you can make this recipe without an ice cream maker, it is a lot easier if you have one. You can buy a basic ice cream maker fairly cheaply.
  • It is best to start this recipe the day before you eat it. This will mean that once you have made the basic custard, it will have time to chill down before you put it in the ice cream maker the next day.
  • You can also make this ice cream well in advance if that is more convenient. I generally make double the quantity and keep it in the freezer where it will last for up to three months.
  • As with most home-made ice creams, it helps to remove the container from the freezer about ten minutes before serving as this will make it easier to scoop.
  • You can use any kind of cherries to make this ice cream. However, make sure that they are sweet and full of flavour. The best way to check this is by eating one! The better the flavour of your cherries, the better the flavour of your ice cream.
  • Roasting the cherries (step 2) makes a huge difference to the taste of the finished ice cream as it intensifies the taste of the cherries. Leaving the stones in when you roast the cherries adds an additional almond flavour to the ice-cream. It is also easier to remove the stones when the cherries have been roasted. It is really important to cover the dish in which you roast the cherries to stop the delicious juices evaporating. These juices are just as important as the flesh of the cherries in bringing flavour to your ice cream.
  • I generally add a dash of kirsch, a cherry-based spirit, when I roast my cherries. However, if you don’t want to include alcohol, that is fine. Just leave it out – the ice cream will still taste good! Also, if you want to choose a different type of spirit, that is fine too. Good alternatives would be brandy, cherry brandy or port.
  • This recipe produces a very rich Cherry Ice Cream which means a little goes a long way. Keep the portions small – people can always have seconds.
  • I think this Cherry Ice Cream is pretty good just served on its own. However, a spoonful of cherry compote would be a good addition. Also, cherry and chocolate is a good flavour combination so a little grated, chunked or curled chocolate – particularly dark chocolate – would be a good addition. Similarly, a scoop of rich chocolate ice cream would go well with this ice cream.
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Other home-made ice cream recipes

I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other recipes are listed below.

  • Coffee Ice Cream – quick and easy, store-cupboard recipe using instant coffee which has an amazingly rich coffee flavour
  • Cranberry Ice Cream – if you have any left-over cranberry sauce, you know what to do with it
  • Elderflower Ice-cream – easy recipe using elderflower cordial – delicious floral taste of summer!
  • Lavender Ice-cream – another gorgeous floral ice cream (bit of a theme here at tastebotanical…) made with fresh or dried culinary lavender
  • Lemon Curd Ice Cream – this tangy, three-ingredient recipe is probably the simplest ice cream recipe you will find
  • Rose Ice-cream – made with culinary rosewater, this ice cream is the essence of an English summer garden
  • Strawberry Balsamic Ice-cream – strawberry ice cream given a lift with a dash of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness
  • Thyme ice-cream with honey and mascarpone – thyme, honey and mascarpone…. in an ice cream – what’s not to like?

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