Photo Dude and I decided to try our hand at making 'real' ice cream the other night. Gorgeous Traverse City cherries are in season and if you've never had them well let me just say you are really missing out. They are a deep amazing red so dark it is almost black. They are sweet as candy and the juice is delectable. Saving cherries for the ice cream was actually a real trick because you always need "just one more!" to satisfy that craving. I haven't made ice cream since I was very small and I think my whole involvement in the process was being allowed to crank the handle once or twice before getting bored of the whole thing. We used our favorite tool on hand and started looking up recipes on the Internet for cherry ice cream. I was shocked and aghast that every recipe I came across had cherry flavored gelatin or cherry drink mix, why on earth would I want to add those things to ice cream?! If I wanted fake stuff I would have just bought ice cream at the store! We decided to improvise (and cross our fingers) that we could figure out what to do by mashing a few recipes together. The side of the ice cream maker had a recipe for strawberry ice cream, we decided that strawberries weren't sooo different from cherries really. So here is our very first stab at ice cream enjoy!
Place your ice cream canister into the freezer over night. We didn't do this but we did have ours in the deep freeze for about 3 hours it seemed to be okay.
Our first hurdle was realizing that we didn't have 2 cups of half and half. Back to the Internet.... We mixed 1 and 1/2 C. milk to 1/2 C. heavy cream to fake it. Very nice no extra run to the store.
4 C. cherry puree. I will let you know that is about 2 quarts of cherries. We were sad to see the whole stash go.
Scald 4 C. milk. Photo Dude offered to do this. I was dubious about his culinary abilities but was pleasantly wrong. Scalding is bringing something to just below a boil, just so ya' know.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 3/4 C. sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir until dissolved. Then stir in half and half, 1 Tbs. vanilla extract, and 4 C. whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Add your pureed cherries to the chilled mixture. Pour mixture (hopefully not spilling all of it) into the ice cream canister then follow the manufacturer's instructions. Ours said about 30-40 minutes I think.
We then decided to follow part of the mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe because ya' know chocolate and cherries are amazing together. After about 25-30 minutes Molly put in 2 C. dark chocolate chips, we had thrown these in the fridge earlier in the day because it was really warm outside. Then we let the machine finish it's cycle.
This is the soft gooey stuff that came out. It was beautiful with absolutely no food coloring. I hate food coloring..... a lot. You then must remove this yummy mixture into air tight containers and let it set up for real. Ours took several hours to do.
Molly really enjoyed the flavor and so did we. Now if you noticed the title of this post is Imperfect Ice Cream I will now explain to you why.
The ice cream was awesome BUT we used milk with way too much fat in it. The milk was from a local dairy and we bought whole milk thinking that the extra fat would make it taste better, it did sort of. It was delicious but you could tell that it wasn't exactly right. The next thing was the chocolate chips; the pieces themselves were too big next time we do this we are going to chop them up finer and add about half as much. We will probably also use semi-sweet instead of dark because Photo Dude doesn't like dark chocolate and I had forgotten that. And the last thing we will be changing is the texture of the cherries. Instead of pureeing them we are going to mash them so you have chunks of cherries throughout. Like biting into little bits of amazing. That is the recipe we used and what we will be doing to fix it. I'm not sure we'll make more this year but if we don't you'll see it all revised next year for sure :)