Sunday, July 31, 2016

Roasted cherry bourbon ice cream

Chicago is HOT this year, and I'm loving it. Which means my favorite food has been on regular rotation here!

Ice cream is considered part of a complete and healthy diet, right?
So far this year I've made peach ice cream (recipe was meh) and this roasted cherry bourbon ice cream. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

The cherry bourbon part of the ice cream was delicious, though I wished the flavor was even more intense. But what makes this recipe killer is the vanilla ice cream baseit's creamy, dreamy, and loaded with tons of vanilla flavor. Definitely some of the best vanilla ice cream I've ever had. If only I had a restaurant-grade ice cream maker, I'm sure this would be the smoothest ice cream ever.

So even if you don't like cherries or if they're out of season, make the vanilla portion plain, or swirl in anything else you like (another fruit puree, chocolate, caramel, etc).

Buen Provecho,

Roasted Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream, adapted from Use Real Butter (with inspiration from A Perfect Scoop)

Note: If you'd prefer cherry ice cream instead of cherry swirl, just add in the cherry/bourbon mixture before churning the vanilla ice cream base. 

I'd recommend making this recipe over 2 days and eating on the 3rd day. Day 1: make cherry swirl and vanilla ice cream base. Day 2: churn ice cream and freeze to set. Day 3: enjoy! And don't forget to freeze your ice cream inset for at least 24 hours!


For the cherry swirl
12 oz. sweet cherries, rinsed, stems removed
1 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP bourbon, divided (1 TBSP + 2 TBSP)
For the vanilla ice cream base
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided (1 cup + 1 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolks
1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 TBSP bourbon
1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Cherry swirl: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cherries in a single layer in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or silpat). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of bourbon over the cherries. Roast for 15 minutes until the juice from the cherries is oozing, but not burning. When the cherries have cooled, remove the pits by hand, making sure to reserve all the juice coming off the cherries. Puree the pitted cherries, juices, and remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon to your desired consistency (I used an immersion blender and kept it a bit chunky, but a food processor or blender can be used). Chill in a refrigerator.
  2. Vanilla ice cream: Combine the milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the liquid is steaming, but not boiling, turn off the heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean pod and add the vanilla seeds and pod to the hot milk mixture. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and reheat the liquid until it is steaming, but not boiling. To temper your eggs, place the yolks in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. While continuously whisking the egg yolks, slowly pour a half cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. When the liquid is incorporated, whisk in another half cup of the hot milk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan containing the rest of the milk mixture. Set the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until the custard slightly thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Note: the mixture won't be thick like a typical custard, but it will have slightly thickened. If you have a thermometer, you're looking to cook it to no more than 170 degrees F.) 
  4. Remove the custard from the heat and pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out any eggy bits. Stir in the remaining cup of heavy cream. Place the vanilla bean pod in the custard. Chill the custard over an ice bath then refrigerate the custard covered until completely chilled, preferably overnight.
  5. Churning the ice cream: Stir bourbon and lemon juice into the custard. Remove the vanilla bean pod. At this point, you can stir the chilled roasted cherry bourbon mixture into the custard for a uniform ice cream, or keep them separate for a swirl effect. Pour the custard into the bowl of your ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop the churned ice cream into a container. If making a swirl, spoon the cherry mixture over the ice cream and gently fold it into the ice cream a couple of times. Cover and freeze the ice cream. Makes a little more than a quart.


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