On Saturday afternoon, giant thunder clouds rolled over us at Crane Beach. We high-tailed it out of there as quickly as we could and popped into Russell Orchards just as the first rain drops started to fall. This is a fantastic store with wine, baked goods and a whole room full of fruits and vegetables. I bought a fluffy bunch of purple kale and some cinnamon bread, and was ready to call it a day when I spotted a pint of sour cherries.
I know this is strange, but I don't really like cherries. Or much fruit at all. Vegetables and I are best buds, but fruit? Eh. One genius idea popped into my head that made those sour cherries sound down right irresistible, though.
Ever since I discovered Jeni's ice cream base, I have been churning out the pints. (Get it?!) My favorite thing about her recipe, aside from the fact that it makes amazing ice cream, is that it doesn't require half a dozen egg yolks. I loathe that about most ice cream bases. So many yolks, so many wasted whites. I know I could freeze them in a baggy or something, but come on.
I give you my not-entirely-invented-but-I-did-successfully-wing-it creation!
Roasted Sour Cherry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate
You will need:
One batch of Jeni's Ice Cream Base
35-40 washed and de-stemmed sour cherries
2 tablespoons Amaretto or Bourbon
2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into shavings with a sharp knife
Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the cherries, sugar and alcohol together in any oven-safe dish - I used a pie plate. Roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to make sure the sugar isn't burning. Remove from the oven and let cool, then remove the pits. This is easy once the cherries are all roasted and soft. Roughly chop the cherries and store them along with all the juices from the pie plate in a glass container. Refrigerate until cool (this can be done one day ahead). You might be tempted to skip this roasting part and just put your fab sour cherries into ice cream, but they will get all hard and difficult to eat once they're frozen in the ice cream.
Make your ice cream base and chill that, too. When the cherries and the base are nice and cold (about four hours later), combine them and freeze them in your ice cream maker. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes to fully churn - is yours the same? When it's nearly done, add in your chopped shards of dark chocolate and let it spin for a few more minutes. Add chips if you must, but I think shards are superior. They don't get rock hard once frozen.
Place your churned ice cream in a glass container and freeze for at least four hours. Sneak spoonfuls while you wait and start telling everyone you know that you just made the best thing ever.