From our feature Inside Scoop: You can involve grandchildren in preparing the fresh cherries required for the recipe, using inexpensive cherry or olive pitters. Some of the variations, including cherry malted and cherry lime rickey, are sure to resonate with grandparents. They will conjure memories of the neighborhood ice cream parlor where lime rickeys were the perfect elixir for the summer heat, and a fresh malted milk was a special treat.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup stemmed and pitted fresh sweet cherries
1/4 cup sweet cherry or black cherry syrup
1. Heat the cream in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, until small bubbles appear around the edge. Do not let the cream boil. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Cool to room temperature
2. Place the cherries in a blender with the cherry syrup and blend until the fruit is pureed about 15 seconds. Stir the cherry puree into the cooled cream. Refrigerate until cold or overnight.
3. Freeze in one or two batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 4 hours.
Yield: 2 cups of ice cream.
To Make Cherry Chocolate Nut Ice Cream: Add 1/4 cup shaved semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans* to the machine when the ice cream is semi-frozen. Allow the machine to mix in the additional ingredients. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
To Make Cherry Licorice Ice Cream: Add 1 tablespoon fennel seeds to the cream before heating. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
To Make Cherry Lime Rickey Ice Cream: Add 2 teaspoons grated fresh lime zest and 1 tablespoon bottled sweetened lime juice along with the cherries. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
To Make Cherry Malted Ice Cream: Add 1/4 cup malted milk powder along with the sugar. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
*To toast nuts for ice cream mix-ins or toppings, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a thin layer on a baking sheet or aluminum foil. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven when the nuts are fragrant and just beginning to brown.
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