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Cherry Ice Cream

Making prepared dishes with fresh fruit is a great idea when produce is in abundance.  You may see a great deal in the supermarket on some perishable item--because it won’t keep well:  fruit and berries are a prime example.  If you have the time to make something that can be frozen, you can take advantage of the seasonal bounty!

Home-made Fresh Cherry Ice Cream
The cherries used in this recipe don’t have to be the perfect fruit that you could eat out of hand.  If the cherries are a bit under ripe they’ll add a welcome tartness to the ice cream.  Sugar is required to help thicken ice cream, and adding tart cherries or buttermilk will help to balance the sweetness.

2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tbls corn syrup

4 large egg yolks

½ cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream (1 pint)

2 tsp vanilla

½ cup buttermilk, optional

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Start by placing your ice cream maker in the freezer; this recipe will have detailed instructions for the use of the KitchenAid freezer bowl attachment, but any ice cream maker large enough for two quarts will do.  The KitchenAid instructions recommend 15 hours of chilling for the freezer bowl.  Overnight will do as well, but the ice cream may be soft going into your container.

Make sure that your freezer is good and cold and place the freezer bowl with the dasher inside in the back or near the bottom, provided it will be safe and clean there.

You will need a soft spatula; rubber or silicone will do well—avoid sharp utensils on the non-stick coating of your freezer bowl.  Also, avoid sudden temperature changes that could crack the bowl.

Pitted Cherries in Sugar Slice your cherries in half and remove the pits.  Measure out roughly 2 cups.  Place in a lidded bowl and pour sugar over.  The sugar will draw juice from the cherries and create a syrup that will allow the cherries to be puréed.  This may take a couple of hours.  You can stir in a tablespoon of corn syrup to inhibit crystallization of the sugar during freezer storage.

Separate the eggs and save the whites for another use—they can be frozen.  Whip the yolks in a small mixing bowl with a whisk to incorporate air.  Add the sugar and continue whisking until the yolks become a light lemon yellow color.  Pour the whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat at medium until the cream begins to steam or small bubbles appear around the edges.  Avoid boiling.  When the cream reaches 170° F it should be removed from the element.

Pour the cream mixture in a slow stream into the yolk mixture, whisking briskly to avoid curdling the yolks.  Stir in the vanilla extract or other liqueur.  A small amount of almond extract can be used in addition, if you like.

Chill the cream custard mixture in the refrigerator for at least several hours.  Puré the cherry mixture in the food processor to the consistency you prefer.  You may leave chunks of cherries in a lightly puréed or even crushed mixture, or process until smooth.  One advantage of making your own ice cream is that you can suit your individual preferences, once you discover what those might be.  You can combine the custard with the cherries either before or after chilling both mixtures.

Once everything is well chilled, have your stand mixer on the counter.  When you remove your freezer bowl from the freezer, place a 2-quart Rubbermaid or other sturdy freezer container in the freezer to chill.  A long shallow container will help to freeze the ice cream more quickly.

Attach the freezer bowl to the mixer and insert the dasher and the attachment that connects the dasher to the mixing arm.  Have everything in place when you remove your ice cream mixture from the refrigerator.  Turn the mixer on to the first speed setting, labelled STIR.  Pour the mixture all at once into the centre area of the freezer bowl.

If you are in the habit of drizzling mixtures onto the side of the steel bowl when making a meringue, for example, you want to avoid that here.  You may find that the mixture freezes to the sides of the bowl and prevents the dasher from moving.  If this happens, you will hear a clicking sound.  In this case, you’ll probably have to remove the bowl from the mixer and whisk by hand using a plastic whisk.  You will still have great ice cream, but it will take more effort to incorporate air into the mixture.  The dasher is designed to aerate the mixture and under normal circumstances, you will notice the level rising as the process nears completion.

There are many variables that contribute to the length of time it will take to finish the process.  How long your bowl was chilled and how cold your freezer was are two examples, but also the temperature in your kitchen will make a difference.  If your room temperature is well air conditioned, it will take less time to finish the ice cream.  But often people make ice cream during the hottest weather and the bowl may warm up quickly as a result; you can wrap a towel around the freezer bowl to prevent it from defrosting too quickly. Making ice cream for Christmas festivities is an energy-efficient task!
KitchenAid dasher before If the mixture reaches the top of the bowl and you hear the dasher clicking, your mixture is probably ready for the freezer.  If, on the other hand, you notice the mixture melting at the edges where it touches the bowl, your bowl is defrosting and warming the mixture. 
KitchenAid dasher after

Stop the machine and remove the bowl, in this case.  You can wrap the bowl in a towel to protect you from the cold as you spoon the ice cream into your pre-chilled container.  Place the container in a cold area of your freezer; you can use heatsinks to place around it or over it, but having good air circulation around the container will aid in the chilling process as well.  Small water bottles partially filled and frozen work well to draw heat from the container.

Allow a few hours for your ice cream to become fully firm.  Use a metal scoop run under hot tap water to spoon out the ice cream into a bowl.  Now, you can enjoy a sweet creamy treat knowing that it is free of preservatives and other additives that enhance the shelf life and texture of commercial ice creams.

Be sure to allow your freezer bowl to warm to room temperature before you try to wash it.  Rinse it out with soap and warm water, dry it thoroughly, and store it in a clean safe place with the dasher.  It can be sealed in an extra-large 15” Ziploc storage bag, or tucked safely away in a large canning pot wrapped in towels or bubble wrap.

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