Homemade Red Wine Cherry Ice Cream

creamy vanilla ice cream swirled with cooked cherries and red wine syrup (yields 1 1/2 quarts)



Red Wine Cherry Reduction

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 12 oz fresh cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ⅓ cup sugar

Ice Cream

  • 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


Red Wine Cherry Reduction

  1. 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.

Ice Cream

  1. 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.
  2. 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.