Let me tell you a little story about gathering cherries in the countryside, and black cherry 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 stone fruit 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.
Black Cherry Ice Cream Made with Crème Fraîche
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 slightly. Fold 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!