No ice cream maker, no problem! Cool yourself off with No Churn Cherry Ice Cream on a hot summer day.
Dill Pickle Ice Cream
When I was a kid, we often vacationed in a small Michigan resort town. Every evening we would stop by the ice cream shop, get a cone, and slowly stroll through the streets window shopping. Nothing really changed in the storefronts from night to night but it was a comforting routine.
However, the difficult part was the decision about what ice cream flavor to have that evening. Should you go with a favorite like strawberry shortcake? Or should you go out on a limb and try something new?
As we pressed our foreheads against the glass of the ice cream cooler, walking along its length, we would look for any changes, any new flavors. Generally, it was always the same - Blue Moon, Mint Chocolate Chip, Butter Pecan.
One evening though, there it was, something not only different but also unheard of in the world of ice cream flavors - Dill Pickle. Of course, that brought a lot of noise and speculation in the ice cream shop. Who would think it was a good idea to make dill pickle ice cream? Did it taste just like a pickle? Why?
Every night we would run to get our ice cream cones, and the first thing we did was look - Did anyone get a scoop? And every night the answer was the same, NO. We wondered who would be the brave person to be the first.
So I decided one night to be the guinea pig. I asked for a scoop of dill pickle ice cream. Eagerly, my whole family watched as I took that first lick of ice cream, that first taste. Well, what does it taste like? Is it good? Or is it bad?
It was just like a dill pickle. Sour, a little briny, and definitely not sweet. I don't know why I expected anything else. I offered tastes to everyone and the reaction was the same - crinkled up noses and a Yuck! After that evening, we would still run to the ice cream shop, but now it was to see if anyone else had dared to try dill pickle. For the rest of the summer, it was the same, only one scoop was ever taken out of the carton.
Ice Cream Maker
I have had several jobs making ice cream. It is one of my favorite desserts to make as a pastry chef. Vanilla ice cream is like an artist's blank canvas. There are so many mix-ins or flavors you can add to make interesting combinations. However, I always used commercial ice cream makers. I constantly had a container of chilled anglaise ready to make ice cream at a moment's notice. But what about at home? I do have an attachment for my mixer that will spin and chill ice cream. But you need to have chilled anglaise or ice cream base ready.
There is a better way. Whipped heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. Super easy, quick to make, and no special machines needed. It is the blank canvas that allows you to be creative. What do you have at home in your refrigerator?
Since cherries are in season and very inexpensive now, I use them in two ways. I make a cherry caramel sauce that I mix in like a thick ribbon.
I also cut the cherries into thick slivers and toss them with sugar so that they are syrupy as they are folded in. Lastly, I add Marcona almonds for a little salty contrast to the sweet ice cream.
Sweet and Creamy
A lesson I learned as a kid, ice cream should be creamy and sweet. Easily achievable with this no churn recipe. However, I added a little something different to add some depth of flavor - creme fraiche. It has the creamy factor but it also adds a slight tanginess to the ice cream. Not enough to completely overwhelm the ice cream. Remember, ice cream should be sweet.
Whip the heavy cream, along with the creme fraiche, and add to the condensed milk with a whisk. You are almost done. Fold in the cherries and the almonds next.
Ribbons of Cherry Caramel
One of my favorite parts of eating ice cream is coming across a ribbon of caramel, or chocolate, or syrup that just helps to add huge flavor. Plus the texture difference is a nice change. Fold the cherries and almonds into the ice cream and pour into a chilled pan. Then I like to add a thick ribbon of cherry caramel to the top of the ice cream. I use a skewer or chopstick to swirl the caramel into the mix. Just don't overmix. All it needs is a couple of swirls to make sure the caramel is reaching the bottom of the pan.
Now the hardest part - waiting for the ice cream to set. Put it in the freezer for about 4 hours. It may look like it is too thin to freeze into ice cream. But have faith, it will!
No sweat ice cream
I can never say no to ice cream (maybe only to dill pickle). This creamy and rich concoction belies the fact that it wasn't made in an ice cream machine. When it is hot and you are looking for a special treat, give No Churn Cherry Ice Cream a try. There will be more than one scoop taken out of the pan. I guarantee!
No Churn Cherry Ice Cream
- container for ice cream such as a 9 x 5 loaf pan
- 2 ½ cups cherries 12 ounces
- 1 cup granulated sugar 7.1 ounces
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup Marcona almonds 2 ounces
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk one can
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup creme fraiche
Caramelized Cherry Sauce
- If you are going to swirl the cherry caramel sauce in your ice cream, you should make it 3-4 hours prior to the ice cream so that it can completely chill in the refrigerator.
- Pit 1½ cups of cherries. Place in a food processor or blender to puree. The skins of the cherries should be completely pureed with the fruit. If you see bits of the skin, strain the puree to remove.
- Pour one cup of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan with ¼ cup of water. Let the water saturate the sugar but don't stir. You do not want the sugar on the interior walls of the saucepan. It can lead to the crystallization of the caramel.
- With the heat on medium, let the sugar gradually start to melt. As the sugar water comes to a boil, you will notice big bubbles on the surface. These bubbles will become more viscous as the water evaporates.
- After about 13 minutes, you will see the syrup start to turn brown in color. You can swirl the pan to distribute the caramelized syrup. The process starts to speed up - you will see the color change quickly. Have the cherry puree nearby. Caramel waits for no one.
- Once the syrup is amber in color, add the cherry puree. Make sure you aren't looking too closely at the interior of the pan. There will be a lot of steam rising as the cherry puree is added. Also, the puree will be boiling profusely as it hits the hot caramel.
- Because the cherry puree is cold compared to the syrup, the caramel will seize and turn hard. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula until everything is melted and the sauce has come together, 2-3 minutes. The longer you cook the sauce, the thicker it will become. But don't let it boil too long. It will no longer be pourable.
- Pour sauce into another container to cool. Once it is room temperature, put the cherry caramel in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours. You can also put the loaf pan in the freezer to chill.
Cherry Ice Cream
- Pit and chop 1 cup of cherries, about 6 ounces. I cut the cherries into slivers rather than a rough cup. Bigger pieces in the ice cream!
- Toss the cherries with 1 tablespoon of sugar. This will extract liquid from the cherries, making them syrupy.
- Rough chop the Marcona almonds and set them aside.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a medium-sized bowl.
- Start whipping the heavy cream. When it is at soft peaks, add the creme fraiche. Stop whipping when the cream is at stiff peaks.
- With a whisk, combine the heavy whipping cream/creme fraiche mix with the sweetened condensed milk. Add the cream mixture in three parts, whisking in between additions.
- Once the condensed milk and cream mixture is incorporated, add the cherries (with the juice) and the almonds. Using a spatula, fold everything together for even distribution.
- If you are using the caramelized cherry sauce, add a thick ribbon to the surface of the cream. Use a skewer or a spoon handle to swirl the ribbon into the cream. It only takes a few turns to incorporate the sauce.
- If you are using a loaf pan for the ice cream, you may add the cream in layers to the pan. In between each layer add a ribbon of cherry caramel sauce. Then add more cream mix. This way the ribbon is incorporated throughout the ice cream.
- Put the ice cream in the freezer. It takes about 4 hours for the ice cream to set.