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.
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
1 pound pitted and quartered cherries
1 vanilla bean, seed scraped
scant 1 cup/ 6 ounces sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
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
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.