Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream // Not Without Salt


My grocery list:




It was suppose to be a quick stop. I just needed a few things for a cheese platter but what I walked away with was a flat of blackberries, a couple pints of blueberries and raspberries, two bags of cherries, a few pounds of apricots, and some plums for good measure.

“Pick me! I’d be great in a pie.” They all seem to cry.  “Just think how much you’d love me all sweet and turned into jam when you’re slugging through the gray months?” “You’ve waited so long so see me! How could you possibly walk away?”

And with those convincing arguments they were in my cart. They win every time you know, and I’m always glad they do.

On the drive home I scheme grand plans for my haul. First the apricots will be pie; easy on the sugar and heavy on tartness. The blackberries demanded their fate be jam with a bit of cinnamon for warmth. The plums were meant for Gabe: I know he loves them. The cherries; TBD.

Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream // Not Without Salt Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream // Not Without Salt

At home the plans quickly vanish as my children descend on my haul like fruit flies. Without haste I stash a couple of pounds of apricots for pie (it’s my favorite) and tuck one the bags of cherries deep into the fridge, out of the reach of little hands.

No jam is made, just happy berry-stained faces enjoying one of the many sweet perks of summer.

After their feasting, I return to the kitchen, quietly pluck my hidden bag of cherries from the fridge and dream of ice cream.

I want something tart, easy, and loaded with chunks of sweet cherries. For the tartness I add sour cream and fresh lemon. For the ease I opt for a yolk-less base remembering a recipe I recently saw where Nigella used sweetened condensed milk in the base which added thickness, richness and sweetness, of course.

With ice being the enemy of ice cream I cook the cherries with a bit of sugar, vanilla and lemon to let the vanilla infuse the mixture and to boil out most of the water in the fruit so they don’t ice over in the freezer.

The base is thick and as you would imagine; quite creamy. It’s tangy and sweet but that sweetness mellows in the freezer. I added a splash of Amaretto for good measure. Kirsch would be lovely here too.

It’s so thick in fact, I wonder if churning is even necessary. Or perhaps this a great base for semifreddo. If you’re up for a bit of recipe testing report back and let me know how it goes. I’d make the recipe again but we’re out of cherries.

Our first round we sandwiched between Muscovado sugar cookies but with the next scoop I wanted chocolate so a simple chocolate sauce was made and round two became an afternoon sundae. After all that we went out for pizza because it’s summer and sometimes that means all your kitchen energy is used up making ice cream.

Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream //  Not Without Salt Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream // Not Without Salt



Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream

1 pound pitted and quartered cherries

1 vanilla bean, seed scraped

scant 1 cup/ 6 ounces sugar 

Juice from 1 lemon

Pinch salt 

2 tablespoons Amaretto

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 16 ounce container sour cream

1 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan combine the cherries, vanilla seeds and pod, sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it gently boil for 10 minutes. The cherries will soften and the vanilla will permeate the mixture. The boiling will remove some of the water from the fruit and intensify the flavor.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Amaretto. Remove the vanilla pod.

Let this mixture cool for about 10 minutes before mixing it, in a large bowl, with the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and heavy cream.

Thoroughly chill the ice cream base before churning according to your manufacturers instructions.

Once churned place the ice cream in the freezer to completely set-up, at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the sugar, water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, whisking constantly. 

Let the sauce gently simmer until everything is well combined. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Cover and refrigerate or use right away.

After refrigeration you’ll need to warm the sauce gently before serving.

47 Responses to “Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream”

  1. Becky

    What a beautiful ode to summer this post is! Thanks for sharing, the ice cream sounds wonderful and quite something special

  2. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    ‘kitchen energy’ is so real. Sometimes you wake up with so much kitchen energy and other times after a particularly trying recipe that doesn’t end well you are flat out of kitchen energy for a couple days. Haha.

  3. Austin

    love this post & use of cherries. it was nice to hear i’m not the only person who wants all the ice cream right now 🙂

  4. Millie | Add A Little

    This looks incredible! I’m such a sour cherry fan (so good made into compote for fluffy pancakes!) so this ice cream is right up my street!

  5. Kathryn

    This post sums up everything that is good about summer. I love the sound of this ice cream and the colour is just a perfect pink <3 The combination with the muscovado sugar cookies sounds like one epic ice cream sandwich that I must recreate asap!.

  6. Amanda

    Yes and yes. Avocado-coconut is my most recent ice cream heartthrob, but this may well be my next. Sour cream. Cherries. *I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…*

  7. Ileana

    Such a pretty color, too! I also can’t help myself from buying stone fruits and berries every time I pop in to the grocery store.

  8. colette

    Such a lovely post of cherry ice cream! I’m so happy I have all of the ingredients! Today cherry ice cream, tomorrow your apricot pie! The apricots are being picked right now!! Thank you for sharing your recipes and your stories!!

  9. Lisa

    Your market haul sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, I live in a no-alcohol household. Any suggestions for substitutions for the Amaretto?

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Feel free to leave it out. If you still want a hint of almond flavor (cherry and almonds are a beautiful pair) then you can add just a touch of almond extract.

  10. Kiran

    How big a can of condensed milk do you recommend? I found two sizes a big (14oz?) and another small

    • Andi

      I just made this with the 14 oz size can and thought it tasted great. I think it would still be good if it were less sweet, though, so I’d be interested to hear if you tried the smaller size.

  11. Halley

    Can you make this sans-ice cream maker? Perhaps as a semifreddo as you suggested? Looks delicious!

  12. Bonnie

    Looks great! Question about the cookies – did you use light or dark muscovado sugar? (I don’t have a Food52 acct so am commenting here.) Thanks!!

  13. Louise

    Made this for dessert last night! It was so so delicious. Didn’t have any amaretto but used some cognac instead. Absolutely loved the sour-ness of the cherry flavour and the creaminess of the ice cream! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe xx

  14. Kelly S

    I made this ice cream over the weekend to go with the chocolate sauce I had made for another recipe. So amazing. Thank you.

  15. Danielle

    Wonder if one cld make this a more healthy gelato. Not sure how it wld turn out without heavy cream.

  16. Felicia@Ingredient1

    This ice cream looks so rich and refreshing, can’t wait to try it soon. We rarely see sour cream as an ingredient in ice cream, awesome idea!

  17. Amy

    I guess I’m confused. You used sweet cherries to make sour cherry ice cream? Can you advise the cup measurement of 1lb of quartered cherries?

  18. Becca | Spices and Spatulas

    Such a lovely post to read and gorgeous photos. Particularly that your original grocery list only had basics, but you returned from the store with a bunch of fruit..definitely been there myself on many occasions. I’ve never used sour cream in ice cream before and I can’t imagine why– that’s such a great idea! xo

  19. at home writer

    I don’t know if I will risk making ice-cream at home, but posts like these are highly encouraging that maybe even me one day will manage 🙂

  20. Right Writings

    Wow, something that seemed so challenging for me and just been made easy by this article. I have been reluctant to try new avenues but now i am confident, thank you