In between marathon blog redesign sessions, I’ve had a teensy bit of a life. I think it’s still summer – it is, right? I think the weather is pretty nice. I think my dogs and my guy still like me well enough. I think.

As far as my guy is concerned, I’m pretty sure it helped that I took enough of a break over the past couple of weeks to head to the farm stand and load up on beautiful, bright, just-picked Pacific Northwest bing cherries, and then turn a bunch of those bad boys into fresh bing cherry ice cream for him.

Fresh Bing Cherry Ice Cream

I also bought him a case of Hefeweizen and some beef jerky. I aim to please. My dogs, Angel and Lizzie? Psh, they think I hung the moon no matter what, which is pretty handy. Though I did promise to take them to the ocean this weekend. Just in case.

A pound of red, ripe cherries turns this lush ice cream a pretty pale burgundy. Not pink, mind you. Pale burgundy. I feel like there should be a name for pale burgundy, but it’s escaping me. The flavor? Actually a little subtle, until you bite into a chunk of cherry and… {monster truck voice} “IT’S A FLAVOR EXPLOSION! explosion! explosion!”

Which is to say, it’s good. Really good. And a great way to showcase those wonderful bing cherries in season. And a great way to feel better about the fact that you’re neglecting your loved ones while you obsess over your blog redesign.

Prep: 6 hrs
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 6 hrs 30 mins

Fresh Bing Cherry Ice Cream

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This lush, pretty ice cream is the perfect thing to do with those sweet bing cherries. Recipe prep time includes freezing time.
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 pound fresh bing cherries (this will amount to 2 cups cherry halves + 1 cup diced cherries)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Pit 2/3 of the cherries. If you have a cherry pitter or a totally awesome Cherry Chomper, I am jealous of you. Though I just cut the cherries in half with a paring knife, then carefully pried them apart and removed the pit - not too bad. Still no Cherry Chomper, though. (Update: I have since learned this method, which is way easier!)
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice over the cherry halves and toss lightly.
  • Pit and dice the remaining 1/3 of the cherries. Cut the cherry in half, remove the pit, and then cut each half into fourths. Or, you know, cut 'em how you like.
  • And then sprinkle the other teaspoon of lemon juice over the diced cherries and toss a little. We're keeping the cherries a nice burgundy so they can become a nice light burgundy. Not pink!
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture is frothy. This takes a good couple of minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and whipping cream over low heat, until the mixture is very warm - when it forms bubbles around the sides, it's about ready.
  • Very slowly pour the hot cream/milk mixture into the beaten eggs, whipping briskly the entire time. You're tempering the eggs - heating them slowly and evenly so that you don't make scrambled eggs instead of beautiful custard.
  • Return the milk/cream/eggs/sugar mixture to the saucepan and, stirring constantly over medium-low heat, cook until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon - about 10 minutes (sometimes takes as long as 15, but watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as it's thick).
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the cherry halves (NOT the diced cherries - those go into the ice cream at the last minute).
  • Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the vanilla.
  • And then puree! I use my handy dandy immersion blender. You can also use a good old fashioned blender. Be careful, though. The mixture is still hot. Let it sit for a few more minutes if you're not sure.
  • Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve. 
  • Let the custard cool completely. This can happen in the fridge, or you can set the container in a bowl or sink of ice water to speed up the process.
  • Once it's cooled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer instructions. I use this handy dandy Cuisinart number. It's way easy.
  • When the mixture is just about frozen, add the diced cherries.
  • Now you can eat it, or spread it in a container and freeze the rest of the way.
  • We enjoyed this plain, and I also whipped up some dark chocolate hot fudge to try over the top. Both are equally, sinfully great.
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