This Cherry frozen custard (or call it ice cream ) is indeed one of the most decadent frozen desserts. It is rich , sweet and melts in the mouth – quite literally. Bits of fresh cherries sprinkled throughout provide a welcome contrast both visually and texturally.
The ice cream machine sees the light of the day quite a bit during these sweltering summer months. Gelato, sorbet and slushies and pretty much anything chilled is welcome in summer. Among these frozen custard is something that we love even in the dead of winter – because … Well I am not going to divulge the reason here – taste it and figure out for yourselves .
Frozen custard is one of the best melt in the mouth soft serves that you can make at home. It is simply irresistible right out of the ice cream maker. Over here the day time temperatures in summer makes it melt as soon as it is out of the machine. We are ok with it and try to polish it off as fast as we can !
This was made on a HOT day and just been in the freezer for 30 minutes . Still easily scoop-able and delicious as a soft serve.
Home made soft serve differs a little from what you get from the machines in the soft serve joints. The commercial machines are designed to keep the contents colder and to have more air incorporated into the mix. Often times there are gelling agents, stabilizers and emulsifiers added to the mix to help it retain the extra air. All these help the soft serve to be , no surprises here , soft and airy !
Home made versions on the other hand are more dense , but deliciously so. Honestly I prefer the texture and taste of the home made version. If you are not into soft serves and freeze it right off the machine for a few hours to firm up.
Doesn’t it look gorgeous!
These pictures are from the last time I made frozen custard. It was quite unplanned. My son’s science class was making quick freeze ice cream (with liquid nitrogen) and the maraschino cherries were intended as topping. Have you read – If you give a mouse a cookie ? Well long story short if you give kids cherries , you may end up giving them more..
The recipe is quite simple . It is my standard frozen custard base to which I added the cherries. I had fresh summer cherries and that is my preferred choice here. If all you have are frozen, by all means use them.
We have a couple of options here – one is to cook the cherries down to a syrup and mix into the custard mix or chop them up and add for a nice textural contrast. The first one will give you a light pink dessert while the second one will be off white with red dots. I love to see the tiny specks of red in the beige background. So you can guess what I picked .
Here are a few things to keep in mind
- Keep everything cold before adding to the ice cream maker. Chill the custard – chill the cherries , chill the bowls used etc..
- Remember ice is lighter than water. In other words the custard expands to take up more space as it freezes. So make sure that your machine can handle the full quantity – do not fill more than manufacturer’s suggested amounts.
– Pit and smash the cherries with 2 tbsp of sugar or honey and chill before adding to the mix.
– Cook down the cherries with 4 tbsp water and 2 Tbsp sugar . Mash and strain into a thick syrup. Chill and drizzle the syrup just as the churning cycle comes to an end.
The custard is slowly beginning to freeze when I added the fresh cherries. There was about 2 inches of room in the ice cream maker for the mix to expand at this time. By the time it was frozen the mix had reached the brim.
No ice cream maker ?
For this recipe I would recommend using the ice cream maker, but quite similar results can be acheived without one. It takes a little longer though. Here is how
- Freeze the custard for an hour to 2 or until the mix is beginning to freeze but not a yet hard.
- Transfer to a chilled blender bowl and blend for 1 to 2 minutes . The time really depends on your blender. What we are looking for is to break up the ice crystals and to get some air into the mix. The mix should look like it has slightly increased in volume , and it should still be very cold (hence the chilled blender bowl).
- Transfer back to the freezer container and freeze as in step 1.
- For best results repeat step 2 and 3 at least once after 1 more time.
- The cherries are to be mixed into the mix just before the final freeze.
- Freeze until solid ( about 3 hours).
Here is the recipe for Cherry Frozen Custard .
Cherry Frozen Custard
- 2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1 Cup Cherries Pitted and Chopped Fresh or Frozen
- Beat the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Take the milk, cream, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium heat and stirring continuously until the sugar dissolved. Keep stirring until the mix very hot but not yet boiling.
- Turn the heat to low. Take the milk and pour a little into the egg yolk mix in a thin stream while whisking the yolks continuously. After pouring about 1 cup of the milk return the remaining milk to the stove.
- Keep the heat low and pour the egg yolk mix into the pan in a thin stream while whisking the milk in the pan. Stir, and keep cooking over low to medium low heat until the custard thickens a little. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Turn off the heat and as the custard thicken and begins to coat the back of the spoon. Mix in the vanilla.
- Transfer the custard to a bowl set in water bath. Whisk the mix and let it cool - about 15 minutes. Alternately you could place a piece of parchment paper on top of the custard and let it cool for a few hours in the fridge.
- Pit and chop the cherries into quarters or eights.
- Transfer the chilled custard to the ice cream maker (follow manufacturer’s instructions) and process. When the mix begins to firm up add the chopped cherries, slowly. Continue churning till set.
- Serve immediately as soft serve or freeze in an airtight freezer container for 2 to 4 hours for a firmer version.
- Fresh or frozen cherries can be used in this recipe.
- Refer to the blog if you want to make it without an ice cream maker.
- The total time is calculated assuming that the custard is chilled in water bath and made into a soft serve in the ice cream maker.
- The nutrition value is calculated based on 8 servings or about 1/2 C custard.
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.