A few years ago I purchased a Cuisinart ice cream maker to try our hand at homemade ice cream. We used it a few times that first year and then I confess it has sat pretty much untouched ever since. This year I’ve adopted a “Use It or Lose It” attitude towards my kitchen so I dragged the machine out from the cabinet to give it another try.
I’ve settled on two major takeaways from our experiment this week:
- Making homemade ice cream is time consuming for a fairly small batch of ice cream. Not difficult, but definitely messy.
- Homemade ice cream is ABSOLUTELY worth the effort.
We used fresh cherries to make a homemade roasted cherry chocolate chip ice cream that was absolutely To Die For. The ice cream base was creamy, smooth, and delicious. Then I mixed in plump juicy roasted cherries, crunchy roasted almonds, and sweet chocolate chips for the perfect summer flavor.
The first step is to prepare these easy Roasted Cherries:
Rinse and dry 2 cups of fresh cherries. Remove the stems and pits. To roast them, I followed the recipe on Epicurious here. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 9×9 glass baking dish, toss the cherries with 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp cornstarch. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
The roasted cherries become extra concentrated in flavor and the sauce is thick and sweet. Just by itself the sauce would make an amazing ice cream topping if you wanted to stop here and just use some vanilla ice cream from the grocery store.
But I highly recommend you keep going . . .
When we were in Charleston last summer, we stopped in for ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. It was one of our favorite parts of the trip. I loved their ice cream so much, I bought Jeni’s cookbook when it was on sale a few months ago. Her recipes tend to be complex and have many steps, but I was thrilled to discover her vanilla ice cream doesn’t require eggs. I can handle making a custard base, but tempering the eggs was a step I didn’t want to mess with this week. Instead, her recipe involves cream cheese to make the vanilla ice cream extra creamy.
I prepared the vanilla ice cream base as instructed, placed it into our chilled ice cream machine and let it process for 20 minutes. I added half the roasted cherry mixture, 1/4 cup of roasted almond slices (instructions here), and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and let the ice cream machine stir them to combine for 2-3 minutes.
We were able to get 2 small “testing” scoops and 1 full pint of ice cream from our batch. Next time, I’d double the ice cream base recipe, add the entire batch of cherries, and double the almonds & chocolate chips.
Everything you need to make homemade roasted cherry chocolate chip ice cream:
- Cuisinart ice cream maker
- Jeni’s vanilla ice cream base recipe (double it!)
- 1 batch of roasted cherries (see above)
- 1 batch of roasted almonds (instructions here)
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
- Ice cream containers for storing: We love these white paper cups but this reusable one would be awesome, too.