Monday, June 28, 2010

who needs cherry garcia?

Still in my cherry obsessed state and putting that cherry pitter to good use.  
Here is the most recent addition to the summer....

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream 

recipe:  (sorry, this is kind of long!)  

2 cups cherries, pitted then quartered
1 huge milk chocolate bar (i don't know how many ounces it is, but you know which one I mean)  
1 1/2 cup vitamin D milk
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract **
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract 

Pit and quarter the cherries.  Add the almond extract to the bowl of cherries and give it a nice stir.  Set aside.  

Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges.  Remove from heat.  

In a small mixing bowl, wish the egg yolks thoroughly.  Very slowly, add small amounts of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, while whisking constantly.  Keep adding small amounts of milk until the egg mixture temperature is raised.  Then, slowly, add egg mixture to the milk and sugar, keep stirring constantly.  Be careful not to add the eggs to fast, otherwise you'll scramble them.  Add the whipping cream.  Over medium-low heat, stir constantly, until the custard mixture is thick, or 160 degrees.  You will know it's ready when you can run your finger down the back of the spoon and it leaves a track.  

Once ready, remove from heat and add cherries and vanilla.  Put this mixture in the refrigerator and chill completely.  This may take a few hours, so sometimes it's nice to make this custard a day ahead so it can chill fully.  

Once it's cooled completely, add it to your ice cream maker and let it churn.  Churn for about 25 minutes.  

While the ice cream is churning, begin grating the chocolate bar.  (I like to freeze the bar before I grate it so that it doesn't melt in my hand)  Using a microplane, grate about half of the chocolate bar.  Cut the rest of the bar up by gently chopping large pieces until they are the size chunky that you like.  

In the last five minutes of the churning, slowly add the shavings and chunks to the ice cream maker.  

And Voila!  You'll love this ice cream!  

**I have some Tahitian vanilla beans that I got on our honeymoon, so instead of vanilla extract I cut off a very small piece of the vanilla bean and add it to the initial milk mixture.  I use a tiny piece because it's so potent.  If you have vanilla beans, I recommend this.  It's SO yummy!  Just make sure to remove the vanilla bean before you add the cherries.**

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