Easy, 4-ingredient homemade cherry ice cream is just the thing to cool you down on a sweltering summer day. It's fresh, cool, and intensely cherry-flavoured - the flavour of summer on a spoon. (Skip to recipe.)
The lazy hot days of August are here . . . sweltering by day and storming by night. And all I want to do is loll around and eat ice cream.
I should be out in the flowerbeds, digging weeds - tried that, but the mosquitoes are too vicious.
I should be out in the saskatoons, picking berries - tried that, but it's way too hot.
I should be in the cool basement, organizing the mess - tried that, but no ambition.
It seems like the heat does that to a person - saps my will and drive. As the old saying goes, "My get-up-and-go got up and went!"
So I think I'll just go with it and keep on making and eating this cherry ice cream. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. Might as well be me!
Cherry season may be over in some parts of the world, but we are still getting the most amazing dark, sweet and huge cherries from British Columbia here - almost local for us Albertans. And this cherry ice-cream is so easy to make. After you sit in the shade to pit the cherries (outside, and in your bathing suit, so you don't get the staining juice everywhere), you just whiz them in the food processor or blender with a few other ingredients, then let the ice cream maker do all the work.
This ice cream is so rich and flavourful - pure intense cherry-ness. The bonus is it's gluten-free, and dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, and egg-free and corn-free and all those other frees. (Sounds like it's almost free, doesn't it?)
I love my ice cream maker in the summer.
I used to have one that needed salt and tons of ice cubes that I had to plan for and make up ahead. It had a complicated double canister system and took forever to freeze. Ice cream making was an EVENT and didn't happen too often. Now I have a 2 quart Cuisinart with a freezable canister. In the summer I just keep the canister in the freezer, and I can have refreshing homemade cherry ice cream whenever my overheated little heart desires, like about right now.
I think I'll just go and make my third batch in about as many days.
Life is rough.
But it's a bowl of cherries.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: If you can't get the same luscious cherries in your area any more, try peaches and substitute 2 tablespoons of rum for the almond extract. Pretty addictive too. I like to puree the mixture in my food processor because it still has some texture (my food processor is old and the blades are dull) - I like the tiny bits of cherry in the ice cream. But if you want a smooth texture, whiz it in the blender until it's a creamy puree.
It's important to use a nice rich, full-fat premium coconut milk for the ice cream. I like Thai Kitchen brand. Make sure to use pure almond extract - the artificial one leaves a nasty aftertaste.
And make sure you don't leave a single cherry pit in the mixture! I speak from experience. Andreas accidentally left one in the last batch (kids make great cherry-pitting-slaves) and I heard it knocking around in the food processor, so luckily found it and fished it out, but it already had a chunk sliced out of it - which I didn't find. Now that little piece of pit is lurking in the ice cream somewhere, waiting to break someone's tooth. I couldn't bear to throw out the batch, and can't offer it to company, so I'll have to take one for the team and eat up (carefully) this batch of cool and refreshing cherry ice cream myself.
Cherry Ice Cream (or Sherbet or Frozen Treat)
- 2.2 lbs (1kg) cherries, pitted, and any juice that dribbles into the pit bowl saved
- 1 can (14 oz/400ml) premium coconut milk
- ¼ cup (60ml) honey
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
Puree the cherries and their accumulated juices with the coconut milk, honey and almond extract in the food processor (for slightly chunky texture) or blender (for smooth texture).
Place into the canister of an ice cream freezer and freeze as per manufacturer's directions.
If you eat it immediately it will have the texture of soft-serve ice cream, or you can freeze it in a freezer container for several hours if you want a firmer ice cream. Just take it out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you want to scoop it for the perfect texture.
That's it - you're done. Life is a bowl of cherries.
Makes about 1½ litres.
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