Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

We’ve been buying black cherries for a few weeks now and they’ve come down in price from $9/lb to $5 and to $3. While snacking on a cold, firm, sweet cherry is hard to beat, the fruit is often a bit mushy, or starts to bruise. Preserving them in alcohol is a handy way to extend their life, and enhance their flavour.

There’s a lot of uses for brandied cherries, but I wanted to try the cherry cheesecake ice cream recipe from the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Cookbook. About three weeks ago, I pitted a bunch of cherries that were past their prime, then give them a quick hot bath in sugar and alcohol. I embellished the recipe a bit, adding a few different kinds of liqueur and some additional warm spices.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Once those cherries were nice and boozy, I was ready to continue. The recipe calls for a standard base (cream, milk, eggs) with the addition of cream cheese added to the strained, hot custard. A hand blender helps to ensure there are no lumps. During churning, the drained, chopped fruit is added.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Unfortunately, this ice cream was disappointing. There is hardly any cherry flavour, and I found the boozy fruit to be too bitter. Some potential improvements: replacing some of the milk with cherry juice; adding some yogurt to boost the tanginess of the cream cheese flavour; garnishing servings with graham cracker crumbs.

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