When I was growing up, there was always a Neil Diamond record playing somewhere in the house — or so it seemed.
It in honor of his hit, “Cherry Cherry,” that this recipe is named. With Bing cherries ripe, sweet and filling the supermarket, I felt the urge to showcase them in an ice cream that also called upon two other types of cherry flavoring that I had on hand.
Another childhood favorite one mine was an old-fashioned cherry soda. The ones I remember used maraschino cherries, but Bings will do just fine. The recipe for that follows.
Cherry Cherry Ice Cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided use
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (use a mortar and pestle if the crystals are too large)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk (do not use skim)
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons cherry flavoring, such as Silver Cloud Estates’ Cherry, Natural Flavor Blend
1 generous cup Bing cherries, seeded and quartered
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
5-6 dashes cherry bitters
In a saucepan, mix 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Pour in the cream, milk and cherry flavoring, and heat over medium-low until it reaches a simmer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until thick. Add 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture to the egg yolks and stir. Then stir the entire egg mixture into the cream, stirring constantly for a few minutes until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. Remove from heat and refrigerate until well chilled.
In a separate pan, add cherries, sugar, a pinch of salt, a splash of water and cherry bitters. Heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries soften. Chill.
When the custard is cold enough, set up your ice cream maker. Pour in the custard and 1 tablespoon of the juice from the cherry mixture. Make your ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before freezing it, stir in the cherries. Let the ice cream ripen for at least 4 hours before serving.
Makes about 4 cups.
From John Griffin
Old-Fashioned Cherry Ice Cream Soda
1/4 cup Bing cherries, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 dash cherry bitters
1/4 cup milk
1 cup club soda
1 scoop vanilla or cherry ice cream
Whipped cream, optional
In a saucepan, heat the cherries, agave nectar and bitters until warm and the cherries soften. Chill.
When ready to make the soda, drain the liquid from the cherries into the bottom of a large glass. Add milk and stir. Slowly add club soda and gently stir so you don’t get too much foam. Add the ice cream and the cherries. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Serve with a straw and an iced tea spoon.
Makes 1 soda.
From John Griffin