A few years ago, my awesome former roommate got me an ice cream maker for my birthday or Christmas. I LOVE ice cream. It’s my all-time favorite food. But I don’t make it from scratch that often…and after this week I remember why—it takes a good chunk of time. Making ice cream is a two or three day process. Luckily, the results are usually worth the wait.
I always store my ice cream maker cylinder in the freezer, so it’s ready to go when I want to make some (otherwise it’s an additional 24-hour wait while it freezes). I had some very ripe cherries in the fridge that needed to be turned into something, so when I found this recipe by Apple a Day, it sounded perfect.
It took one evening to make the custard base and prep the cherries. The next evening, I took it out of the fridge and churned it in the ice cream maker. Then it took another day to freeze through. But we tried it last night—and it was fabulous!
Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream (adapted from Apple a Day)
- 1 pint whipping or heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and halved (I used a dark red variety)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 tablespoon bourbon, divided
- In a large saucepan, combine the egg yolks and 3/4 cup of the sugar, whisking together until blended. Set aside.
- Mix the cream and milk in a saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until it starts to steam (about 5 minutes).
- Gradually add the hot cream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t cook. Heat the mixture on medium, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon or spatula and you can see a trail if you run a finger down it. (About 7-9 minutes) Don’t let the custard boil.
- Place a mesh sieve over a clean, heat-proof bowl, and pour the custard through. Stir in the vanilla.
- Place the custard bowl in a larger bowl and fill the large bowl with enough ice water to be level with or above the custard level. (This is to cool the custard consistently.) Allow the custard to cool to room temperature—it may take up to an hour.
- In a saucepan, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cherries, and 2 tablespoons of the bourbon over medium-high heat. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the cherries have expelled their juices and softened, and the liquid has begun to thicken (about 10 minutes). Strain the cherries, reserving the liquid. You might have anywhere from 1/2 to 1 cup liquid.
- In a small bowl, mix the cherries with the lemon juice and remaining 3 tablespoons of bourbon. Let everything cool to room temperature, then mix the cherry liquid into the custard, and put the custard and the cherries in the refrigerator over night.
- Set up your ice cream maker and churn/freeze the custard according to your maker’s instructions, adding the cherries in the last 5-10 minutes of churning. Since I don’t have air conditioning in my kitchen, it took almost 40 minutes for my custard to freeze to a nice slushy state, which is when I added the cherries.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-proof container (I used an 8-cup Glad freezer container), and freeze until set—probably at least 4 hours.