There are 3 types of fruit that I am giant crow in the trees crazy about. Pomegranates, Figs and Cherries. Unfortunately, these fruits have a very short season so when they're available, I will knock you over to get to them. I'm not kidding. The most delicate of these seems to be the cherries. Too much sun, no cherries, too much rain, no cherries. Last Spring, we had a lot of late rain and boom, overnight the bountiful cherries I was seeing on all the trees were gone. But sometimes it's just right. That's the case right now. We have hit cherry perfection here in Sonoma. That's why I'm taking advantage of whatever I can get my mitts on since the weather here in Wine Country can turn on a dime this time of year. The cherries we've been getting here in Sonoma are not Bing cherries. Those will be along in a few weeks. What I've been buying are early cherries known as Chelan.
I think there's almost no better way to enjoy cherries than in vanilla ice cream and while we're at it, adding a little bit of dark chocolate never hurt anything either. Far from it. While I was at the market looking for chocolate to chunk up for the ice cream, Alan handed me a container of chocolate pearls made by Valrhona.
Cherries and pearls they seem made for each other.
Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream With Valrhona Chocolate Pearls
Here's What You Need:
3/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of whipping cream
1 and 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of pitted quartered cherries
1/4 cup of chocolate pearls or 1/2 cup of small chocolate pieces.
2 tsps of vanilla extract
Here's What To Do:
Wash and pit the cherries. I use my OXO Cherry Pitter.
Cut the cherries in half and in half again to have nice bite sized pieces. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together: 1 and 1/2 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of sugar.
When this is well mixed and the sugar dissolved, add in 2 cups of whipping cream.
Add in the vanilla.
Whisk everything together well and pour it into an ice cream machine.
Churn for about 20 minutes then add in the cherry pieces.
And the chocolate pearls or pieces.
The reason for waiting 20 minutes is you want the ice cream to be soft yet firm enough to support the cherries and chocolate pieces so they don't all fall to the bottom of the machine and are well distributed through the ice cream.
Let the machine churn for another 8 minutes or so, or until the ice cream is ready to be scooped into a container and put into the freezer.
Let the ice cream "age" in the freezer for an hour or so, for the best texture.
Serve it up!
If you like cherries, vanilla and chocolate, then this ice cream is for you.
But, life isn't all just ponies and rainbows and cherry vanilla ice cream with chocolate pearls. I'm going to be having a bowl of nettle soup for dinner this evening and no wicked stepmother was involved. It turns out that nettles are one of Springs' delicacies. Who knew. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori