Summer is in full swing and you know what that means – cherry season! We recently bought a huge bundle of them and, aside from just shoving them directly into my mouth, I came up with this take on Cherry Garcia ice cream to enjoy them.
Domestocrat’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream
3 cups half and half
3 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
1 3.5oz. (100g) dark chocolate bar (I used 72% cacao chocolate)
Red food coloring, totally optional
First, get your sharpest paring knife, slit the vanilla bean down the center, spread open in half, and lightly scrape the seeds out with the edge of your knife.
In a medium sized sauce pan add the vanilla, half and half, milk, sugar, and salt. You can even throw in the vanilla bean for added flavor (I did). Let the mixture cook together over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
While the base is done, prepare the egg yolks for tempering. Whisk them together in a separate, heat-safe bowl. To temper the eggs: Take a cup of the hot mixture and slowly pour it into the bowl of yolks, whisking quickly and constantly. You have to do this slowly or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. I mix in just about 3 cups of my hot mixture before the temperature is up high enough to pour the entire bowl back into the sauce pan without scrambling the eggs.
After the eggs are fully incorporated into the mixture (now a custard, really), return the entire mixture to the stove and stir continuously over low heat until the mixture has fully thickened. This takes 7-10 minutes. Don’t skimp on the stirring, if you do the eggs will separate and the custard will be ruined! After the custard is done, transfer it back into the heat-safe bowl. Let the batter come to room temperature and then put it in the fridge overnight.
When the batter has chilled overnight, it’s time to make ice cream! According to your ice cream mixer manufacturer’s instructions, mix the batter in the attachment bowl until it becomes ice cream. For my KitchenAid, this takes 20-30 minutes.
Once the ice cream has set, transfer it into a tupperware container. Add the pitted and chopped cherries and stir to combine.
The cherry juice tinted the ice cream slightly but I wanted a deeper pink color. I added 3-5 drops of red food coloring but this is totally optional.
Lastly, add the chocolate. You can use chocolate chips, chunks, anything really. I bought this intense dark Ghirardelli bar and chopped it up myself.
Once the cherries and chocolate have been fully combined, put the tupperware container in the freezer and chill for at least 2-4 hours (overnight is fine too).
Scoop and enjoy! This version isn’t identical to the famous Ben and Jerry’s flavor but is a perfect homemade replica. It’s sweet and vanilla-y but with little bursts of cherry goodness and rich dark chocolate. Perfection.