Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to beat the heat however we can. And when a beach vacation isn’t on the radar, what could be better than a creamy, light, and refreshing ice cream?
Every time I hear the ice cream truck going around my neighborhood, I honestly still get that little surge of excitement in me. When you hear the sound of the truck in the distance, it’s pretty hard to stop yourself from drooling.
Am I alone in this?
Of course, seeing kids from the neighborhood run up to an ice cream truck at full speed with excitement in their eyes is pretty normal. Seeing a thirty-something woman flagging down the truck with earnest jubilation might be a little weird.
Though at least I would be getting my exercise to offset the calorie intake…
Instead, let’s all agree that it’s time to indulge a little, embrace that sweet tooth, and hop on the cherry bandwagon while the season is still going strong.
This ice cream is one of the best ways to capture the rich, deep, and slightly sweet flavors of fresh cherries.
You start by making a syrup that’s more complex than simple, comprised of a variety of flavorful sweeteners. And then you infuse this syrup with the fresh fruit, allowing them to steep briefly, elevating it to a whole new level of goodness.
At the same time, the cherries are glazed with the syrup, so they have an added sweetness that is simply irresistible.
With the combination of the delicious syrup and the fresh glazed fruit, you get a double hit of cherry flavor that everyone will go nuts for.
To top it all off, what pairs better with cherries than dark chocolate?
Honestly, when it comes to dessert, not much. The dark chocolate and the fruit complement each other so well with their rich flavors.
The bitterness of the dark chocolate, the tartness of the cherries, and the overall sweet flavor elements make this ice cream one of my favorites to bust out during the summer.
It doesn’t matter if you serve this creamy, dreamy ice cream in a a classic waffle cone or a bowl – any way you serve it offers a direct route the heart of whomever takes a lick or spoonful.
Aside from using the freshest cherries you can get your hands on (the farmers market is an excellent option for this, when in season), my recommendation is to invest in a really nice bar of dark chocolate. If you are someone who loves more bitterness, go for a chocolate that is 80 to 90% cacao.
For a little less bitterness, you can go for 60 to 70% cacao.
Another option, for those of you who aren’t on this bandwagon completely, is to try out a mixture of dark and milk chocolate. You’ll get a little extra sweetness and a bit of bitterness to counter the tart flavor of the cherries.
Honestly, any type of chocolate goes with cherries, so embrace whatever tastes best in your opinion.
You could even use white instead of dark or milk, if that’s more your speed. In fact, this would probably make an amazing combo with golden Rainier cherries…
Any way you try it, this is a frozen dessert that you’ll want to make a staple in your home every single summer.Print
Celebrate the sweetness of fresh seasonal produce by making homemade Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. You’ll savor each spoonful. And this recipe can be enjoyed with or without an ice cream maker!
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, honey, and maple syrup. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat down to low and add the cherries. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the syrup thickens and the fruit has infused it with flavor while giving the cherries a nice glaze.
- Remove from the heat and strain, reserving the syrup. Set aside to cool, then place the syrup and the cherries in the refrigerator in separate bowls to cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chilled syrup mixture, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.
- Pour in the cream and milk, and whisk to blend.
- Transfer the mixture to a freezer–safe container, cover, and pop it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Place the cooled mixture in your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Or, for a no-churn option without an ice cream maker: Mix for 5 minutes with a hand mixer, then place back in the freezer for 20 more minutes or up to 3 hours, depending on the temperature of your freezer. Repeat this process three or four times, until the ice cream has the thick, creamy texture you want.
- When the mixture has an airy and stiff texture (or about 2 minutes before it is done if using the machine method), add the chocolate and the cherries, and continue to churn/mix in until combined. Serve immediately for a soft-serve style dessert or place back in the freezer until firm, for 2-4 hours.
- When you are ready to serve, if it is too firm to get your scoop in there, set it on the counter to thaw for a few minutes.
Adapted from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book.
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
If you are using an ice cream maker, make sure the components are frozen or prepped according to the manufacturer’s directions. Sometimes this requires 24 hours of advance chill time, so be prepared!
Unless you are using chips, chop the chocolate into fine pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Pit the cherries, then halve them. Place in another bowl.
This can be done by hand with a paring knife, but I prefer to pit them with a handy little kitchen gadget that’s designed for this purpose. You lose less fruit that way, and it’s less time consuming!
Measure the remaining ingredients, so they are ready when you need them. No surprises this way! (Nothing’s worse than reaching for the sugar that you need for a recipe when you’re halfway through making it, only to realize that the sugar bowl is empty. I’m sure you can relate.).
Step 2 – Make Syrup
Add the sugar, honey, and maple syrup to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk occasionally, until the sugar melts.
Add the cherries to the saucepan, and let them cook in the syrup until it thickens and the fruit is glazed well.
Strain through a colander or fine mesh strainer, reserving the syrup.
Place the cherries back in their bowl and the syrup in another container, and allow to cool on the countertop. When they’re no longer steaming, place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Step 3 – Create the Base
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Whisk in the cooled syrup a little at a time, until blended well.
Pour in the cream and milk, and whisk to combine.
Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to chill.
Step 4 – Churn (or Mix and Freeze)
Add the base mixture to your ice cream maker, and churn according to the instructions that came with the machine.
About 2 minutes before the churning process is complete, add the chocolate and halved cherries.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, alternate “churning” with a hand mixer and returning to the freezer for several intervals until you create the texture that you are looking for, then stir to combine with the add-ins.
Step 5 – Freeze
Scoop into a loaf pan or airtight container, and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap.
Place in the freezer for at least 2-4 more hours before serving, if you like a firm texture.
Fruity Frozen Desserts Are All The Rage
This year, fruity frozen desserts are in. From cherries to blueberries, raspberries to strawberries, and every fruit in between, frozen fruity desserts are the best way to close out a summer meal.
If you can’t get enough once you’ve tried this delicious dessert, be sure to check out a few more of our favorite recipes below:
- Paleo Mango Ice Cream is a great option for those of you who are on a paleo or vegan diet.
- For an unusual and refreshing combination, consider trying our Strawberry and Goat Cheese Sherbet.
Don’t have an ice cream maker? We are here to teach you how to choose a top rated model so you make the best, most informed decision you can for sweet, frozen deliciousness all summer long. These machines really are time savers!
And if you have a little extra time on your hands while that frozen treat is churning away or firming up in the freezer, there’s no better dessert pairing than a generous slice of pie. Try our cherry version, flavored with a touch of white balsamic vinegar to bring out the tartness of the fruit. It’s an amazing combo.
And if you still have more fruit left over from your pick-your-own adventures, make a batch of flavored cream cheese, or try these homemade maraschinos. These can also be candied, and they make the perfect topping for classic cookies.
What kind of chocolate would you love to try in this dessert? Tell us in the comments below, and leave a five-star rating as well if you loved it!
Photos by Meghan Bassett and Kendall Vanderslice, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 30th, 2010. Last updated: June 21, 2018 at 18:41 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Bassett
Meghan Bassett is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.