Sour cherry ice cream is just about the summeriest ice cream you can make. This version from the book Scoop Adventures is excellent!
A no-egg ice cream base ensures the sweet-tart fruit flavor really shines through in this homemade cherry ice cream!
Another one to check out is my chocolate cherry almond gelato
For ease of browsing here are all of my ice cream recipes (and a few ice cream cakes). Thanks for stopping by!
Disclosure: I was given a copy of Scoop Adventures by the fine folks at Page Street Publishing. Thanks guys!
Why This Recipe?
One of the things I really like about this recipe is that it is not a custard base, meaning that it doesn’t contain eggs.
The base is a mixture of sugar, milk, and heavy cream that allows the sweet-tart cherry flavor to really shine through.
I also love the cookbook this recipe comes from.
Scoop Adventures is a delightful book with recipes inspired by or adapted from recipes from great ice cream parlors across all 50 states.
The book is divided into geographical regions, so if you’re hankering for southern treats or maybe something from the Pacific Northwest, it’s easy to find a recipe to fit the bill.
Of course, the sour cherry ice cream recipe comes from Colorado, but it would be right at home in Michigan as well. And it certainly was right at home in my freezer and in my mouth!
How to Make It
Here’s what you need:
- sour cherries: fresh or frozen. If you can’t find tart cherries, macerate pitted sweet cherries with sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
- granulated sugar: for sweetness. Sugar also affects the set of the ice cream. If it’s too sweet, it will never completely freeze.
- lemon juice: provides balance and a pop of acid
- heavy cream:
- whole milk: You can also substitute half and half instead of using heavy cream plus whole milk
This is a very easy ice cream to put together. The components, made from the ingredients above, are simple:
- a homemade sour cherry syrup
- a Philadelphia-style (no egg, no starch) ice cream base
- Make the cherry syrup: simply macerate pitted cherries in a portion of the sugar and all the lemon juice for several hours.
Puree the mixture in a blender, and strain it out.
Reserve some of the cherry skins for texture in the final ice cream.
- Make the base: cook the milk, cream, and the rest of the sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
- Combine the cold cherry syrup with the cream base
- Churn in your ice cream maker.
- Mix in some of the reserved cherry skins for texture and added flavor.
The resulting ice cream is a lovely deep pink and the flavor is pure cherries and cream.
Q & A
Yes, fresh or frozen cherries will work here. If using frozen, there’s no reason to thaw them first before making the recipe. Just dump the sugar and lemon juice in with the frozen cherries, let them sit on the counter until thawed, and then let them finish macerating in the fridge.
You can absolutely substitute sweet cherries, fresh or frozen. The recipe suggests adding some citric acid to the mixture to approximate the flavor of tart cherries, but you don’t have to do that. You’ll still end up with a lovely sweet cherry ice cream.
Churning in an ice cream maker is certainly convenient, but if you don’t have one, you can still make this ice cream. Once you combine the cherry juice with the base, place in a metal bowl (to freeze faster) and place in the freezer. Whisk it very well every 30-45 minutes until it’s the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Then press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and freeze at least four hours if not overnight.
For best texture, finish your ice cream within about a week. Any longer, and it may start to get a little icy, especially if you’ve taken it out of the freezer a lot and it has partially thawed and then refrozen.
PRO TIP: If using sweet cherries and you don’t want to special order citric acid, substitute Fruit Fresh, which is readily available in grocery stores, for the citric acid.
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Recipe from Scoop Adventures by Lindsay Clendaniel (Page Street Publishing; March 2014) Printed with permission
- 3 cups (465g) sour cherries, pitted
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
- 2 cups (473ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (237ml) whole milk
- Combine cherries with ¾ cup (150g) of the sugar and lemon juice. Allow the cherries to macerate in the refrigerator for approximately 6 hours, stirring every hour. Purée the macerated cherries in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the cherry skins; reserve the juice. Reserve 2 tablespoons (30g) of the cherry skins and discard the remaining skins.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup (100g) sugar with the heavy cream and whole milk and place over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil. Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a medium bowl and set in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to churn, combine the reserved sour cherry juice and the milk mixture in an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is near completion, add the reserved cherry skins (adjust based on personal preference). Complete churning, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Note: If you cannot find sour or tart cherries, you may substitute sweet cherries. To prepare the cherries, pit and halve before macerating. Add ½ teaspoon citric acid during maceration. The ice cream will not taste exactly the same, but it will still be tart and delicious. (This is what I did as there were no sour cherries to be had here. I did find a can of sour cherries after the fact, and I used them in a variation I'll be sharing later)
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 345Total Fat 16.3gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 59mgSodium 34mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 0.8gSugar 48.3gProtein 2.7g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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Thanks for spending some time with me today. Enjoy that homemade cherry ice cream, okay?
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