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Simple Black Cherry Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

On the way home from the beach yesterday, we stopped to take a walk along a country foot path.  The trip to Southwold had been a big disappointment– totally cold and windy despite a cheerful forecast– and we wanted to redeem the outing with a peaceful and interesting walk someplace new.  I had it in the back of my mind that it’s stonefruit season, but didn’t really have my hopes up.  We had actually gone for a foraging walk the day before, and came back empty-handed.  No matter what the time of year, I’m always looking for something to eat when we’re out for a walk.  And, as you may have guessed by the title of this post, we found something yesterday.  Cherries.  Everywhere.  Falling all over the ground, picked at by birds, and ripe, ripe, ripe.  We found black cherries and morello cherries, and picked as many as we could carry in our only, already-ripping bag.  It turns out that we had over four quarts!

I am not totally sure what I’ll do with all of them… But ice cream was first on the list.  As soon as we got home, I set to work washing, sorting and pitting them.  I don’t have a cherry pitter, but this make-shift technique (perching a cherry atop a bottle and pressing a straw through it) worked alright.

This black cherry ice cream is super simple, and tastes incredibly good.  There are only four ingredients, and the crème fraîche adds that extra little tang and bouyant texture that makes it really work.  I love how the brown sugar’s caramel flavor brings out the dark, raisin-like notes in the super-ripe cherries.

What You’ll Need

2 cups pitted black cherries
1 1/3 cup heavy cream (single cream for my Brits)
1 1/3 cup crème fraîche

1/3 cup brown sugar (honey would also work well here)

an ice cream maker (this one is my favorite)

What To Do:

1.  Combine the cream, cherries, and sugar (or honey) in a saucepan.  Heat gently until slightly hot (or very warm, whichever works for you!)  You don’t want to boil it, but you want to coax the juices out of the cherries and dissolve the sugar. Stir and mash the cherries a bit.

2.  Let it cool slightlyFold in the crème fraîche, and put it in the fridge for an hour– or in the freezer for 20 minutes.
3.  Put it in your ice cream machine, and let it do its thing.

Serve it up and enjoy!


We may not have had a great beach day, but we all ended the day feeling like we are really living the good life– what could be better than an afternoon of picking cherries, and a dessert of fresh-from-the-trees black cherry ice cream?  Not much!

This post was shared at: Fat Tuesday.

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14 Responses to Simple Black Cherry Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

  1. Usha August 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Thanks for Brits mention! I was wondering whether Heavy cream was Double of Single. I have looked it up before but my results were never really definitive. Now I know!
    Now all I need is some cherries, some crème fraiche and cream!

  2. Matthew @ Lasik for Your Surgeon August 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Looks fantastic. Can’t wait to try it out!

  3. likeanutritionist.com August 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    What is and where do you get cream fraiche?

    • Ariana Mullins September 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      You can usually find creme fraiche at the grocery store, probably with the sour cream. It is similar to sour cream– cream that is cultured with a certain dairy culture. I started making my own by buying some store-bought creme fraiche, and using a spoonful to culture my some cream. After that, as long as I had a little leftover to add to the the next batch, I never had to buy it at the store again!

  4. Lea Baker January 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    wow! I have two black cherry trees that don’t always have productive growing seasons here in the northwest. But on the years that the harvest is plentiful and after eating as many as I can, and sharing I freeze them by the gallon bag and have lots of stock for the bad years that can be plentifully bad numbers. Anyone have a way to keep the ringnecks that bombard my trees in the spring when they are small and green? They rape my trees and then the cherries seem to self abort after that. The pidgeons multiply in numbers year after year because someone in the area started feeding them a decade ago and now we are inundated with the fungus carrying thieves!?

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