Lately I've been stopping at the grocery store after Zumba class. It's extremely convenient, the dance studio is right in back of Shaw's. Also, I tend to buy more fresh and healthy foods after an intense workout.
Last week, I saw cherries were on sale. I added them to the strawberries I've been eating (averaging about 3lbs a week... I hope ODing on strawberries has no adverse effects). They looked beautiful, and were a really good price. However, they had no flavor at all. I was really disappointed!
So I turned them into ice cream, and I have to say, this is about my best batch yet.
Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
approx. 1.5lbs of cherries, destemmed and pitted
2T (yes, tablespoons) vanilla
In a wide fry pan or wok, start to simmer cherries. Sprinkle sugar over, and cook until they start to soften. Add the vanilla, cook until the liquid turns into a syrup. Let cool. Puree about 2/3s of the cherries and leave the rest whole.
3 cups 2% milk
scant 2/3 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, scald milk. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar, whisk together. Add about half of the scalded milk (ladle slowly, ladleful by ladleful) to egg/sugar mixture, then add back to the saucepan with the remaining milk. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened, anywhere between 3 and 8 minutes. It won't thicken much, just enough to notice, and you definitely don't want the eggs to scramble.
Remove from heat, strain and add the cherry puree. Let chill (I usually put it in the fridge, but today I was too impatient, so made an ice water bath, which worked rather well, so I suggest an ice water bath).
Whip out your handy-dandy ice cream maker, and start it up according to the directions. When the custard/cherry puree mixture is just about done, slowly add in the whole cherries. Freeze a couple more hours, until it's the proper ice cream consistency, or, if you can't wait, set aside a small bowl to taste immediately. This is good.
(the recipe I followed for this was adapted from the basic gelato recipe that came with my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker, and I made up the cherry part as I went.)