Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cherry Ice Cream (with Variations)

My first attempt at making cherry ice cream involved a bleak winter day and frozen cherries from Albertson’s. The results were predictably flavorless and rather dismal. Good cherries are essential for cherry ice cream. So this time I purchased fresh, organic cherries and pitted them myself, flinging bright red cherry juice all over the kitchen so that it looked like something you’d expect on CSI, minus Gil Grissom and the little flashlights. The clean-up was a pain, but it was totally worth it. (I personally recommend making the Cherry Almond Delight variation.) P.S. The red food coloring is totally optional, but it makes the ice cream much prettier than the reddish-brown natural cherry color.

2 c. pitted cherries, quartered
½ - ¾ c. sugar, depending on how sour your cherries are
Splash of water
2 c. almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
2 T. arrowroot powder
1 t. vanilla extract
½ - 1 t. almond extract (optional)
Few drops red food coloring (optional)


Place 1¼ cup of the pitted cherries and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Add a tiny splash of water and bring to a boil, stirring to mix the sugar and the cherries. Once the cherries are getting soft and yummy and sweet, pour them into a blender and puree.

Pour the puree back into the saucepan and add the almond (or other non-dairy) milk. Bring the mixture back to a boil. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and immediately stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

Add the vanilla and almond extract (if using). Add red food coloring until you’re happy with the shade of pink/red.

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add remaining cherries in the last five minutes of freezing.


Cherry Almond Delight: Definitely use 1 teaspoon almond extract. Add ½ cup sliced, toasted almonds along with the sliced cherries in the last five minutes of freezing.

Cherry Chocolate Chip: Add ¾ cup chocolate chips along with the sliced cherries in the last five minutes of freezing.

Dandy Brandy Cherry: Add ¼ to ½ cup cherry brandy after the ice cream mixture has cooled, but before you freeze it.


  1. That sounds fantastic! Can't wait to try it when my new (belated) birthday present arrives -- the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for my mixer!

    Thanks so much for posting such lovely recipes. Wish I could see what your results looked like.

  2. I've never been a fan of cherry ice-cream, likely because I really only like real, fresh cherries - no 'cherry' flavored items for me! THIS recipe might well be my link to the cherry ice-cream world! Thank you! Can't wait to try it out!!

  3. Hey thanks for that recipe. I can't wait to try it for myself.

    Your blog is great by the way. Nicely done.

  4. Anonymous3:07 PM

    I love you very much for coming up with these awesome recipes. I just made Isa's carrot cake last week and it was the best dessert I've ever had. Can't wait to try it in the ice cream. Also - it's cherry time up here in Michigan, so what better way to use fresh cherries? Got my little cherry pitter all ready to go.
    Heartfelt thanks and hugs.

  5. Do you use sweet cherries or tart cherries for this recipe? With cherry season so close, I am anxious to try this. Thanks.

  6. Habanero--

    I use tart cherries. Mmmmm...

  7. We made this a few days ago and it's awesome! Thanks so much for the blog. We can't wait to try more of your recipes.

  8. Well, I gave up finding tart cherries and made this with sweet cherries. I used a scant half cup of sugar and used 1 cup Silk Creamer and 1 cup soymilk. I made the cherry chocolate chip version. Tastes wonderful, but this one froze real hard and needs a good 15 minutes at room temperature before eating. Thanks very much.

    I have some cherries left and think I could make the almond version. However, how do you get toasted almonds? Do you buy them that way or toast them yourself? I have some slivered almonds that I could toast in a pan and slice a little finer.

  9. I just bought cherries today and was thinking to make a cherry icecream with them. If they last that long. The children want vanilla so I'm makign that for them first and will get to the cherry soon!!

  10. Wonderful! I added a cup of Almond Creamer, the almonds and it was delightful!