Savoring the end of cherry season with this red wine cherry ice cream.
While cherries will still be tasting delicious for a while, the peak of their season is coming to an end. I found the perfect way to use them in this red wine cherry ice cream. It’s got a sweet vanilla ice cream base with just the perfect amount of cooked cherries and red wine syrup swirled in. The cherry flavor pops through, while the red wine lingers subtly on the tip of your tongue. Plus, the creamy white, reddish-pink color of this ice cream is absolutely gorgeous.
While using an ice cream maker is without a doubt the best way to do this, I also wanted to share a trick for those of you who don’t own one. It won’t be quite as authentic or have exactly the same texture, but let me tell you it still works extremely well.
Once you cool your ice cream base, pour it into a zip-lock bag and seal tightly. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and let freeze for about 4 hours. Remove the base and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Use your hands to “bend” the bag back and forth so the ice cream base loosens a bit. Transfer the base to a food processor and blend until smooth (this should look like soft serve when finished). Transfer the mixture to a freezer container as directed in the recipe, stirring in the cherries and freezing until firm.
It’s definitely not a bad alternative that allows you to experiment with homemade ice cream. Either way, definitely go grab some cherries and enjoy this delicious cherry ice cream treat!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 12 oz fresh cherries, pitted
- ½ cup red wine
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 9 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ice cream cones, optional
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Stir in the cherries. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Pour in the red wine and sugar, stirring so that the sugar disperses in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened. You don’t want to reduce so far that the liquid completely evaporates. You should be left with tender, bursted cherries and a thick, glossy syrup. Let the mixture cool completely.
- Combine the half & half and heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Heat this mixture over medium-low heat until just simmering (do not boil). While the liquid heats up, whisk the egg yolks vigorously in a mixing bowl until pale yellow. Add both sugars, whisking until incorporated. Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking in about ⅓ of the heated cream mixture into the bowl. Once incorporated, pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture. Cook until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes over medium-low heat. Transfer the custard to a glass bowl and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Place the bowl into a larger bowl full of ice to let cool slightly before refrigerating and cooling completely. Pour the cooled custard into an ice cream maker and process according to the machine’s instructions. At this point, it will be at the soft-serve stage. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer container (I like to use a non-stick, 9” by 4.5”, 1 pound, bread pan). Spoon the reserved red wine cherry mixture on top of the ice cream. Use a knife to create “swirls”, basically just moving the knife up and down the ice cream until the cherries are incorporated. Freeze for a couple of hours before serving. Scoop the ice cream into bowls or mound it onto ice cream cones.