It’s cherry season and I simply had to kick things off taking you through one of my favourite recipes, roast cherry ice cream.  This recipe is adapted from the one here with my own twist and adaptations for an Australian audience and ingredients.

This recipe is not hard, but is time consuming, fiddly AF and despite all this totally worth it.  Its simply divine, and only available seasonally which makes it all the more special. 

Last year my family and I went cherry picking on New Years Day.  We had so much fun we went again this year and its rapidly developing into a bit of a NYD tradition. 

We picked our cherries at the lovely Cherry Hill Orchards.  They have a great setup with food trucks, music, activities for the kids and tastings of their products including their cherry soft drink Cherish and other products.  Buy tickets in advance as they do sell out.  They bus you out to the best place to pick and you can gorge yourself on a much fruit as you like before coming back.  When you leave you pay per kilo for what you pick.  The best cherries have a lovely rich dark purply red colour and if you leave the stems on they’ll keep much better.  On a warm day its also useful to have an esky to bring your cherries home in.

Remove the stems but LEAVE THE PITS IN.

You read that right.  Leave them in.  You’ll remove them later but right now leave them where they are.

Put your cherries into an ovenproof frypan or dish. 

Sprinkle over 1/2 cup of sugar and pop into a preheated oven at 230C.  Check after 30 to 40 mins.  You want the tops to be starting to brown off and to go nice and roasty.  Give it a stir and pop back in for about 10mins ISH.

Remove from the oven Carefully – it goes without staying but it will be incredibly hot.  Leave to cool.

Now you can pit the cherries.  All 1.5 kgs of them.  I told you it was fiddly.  Pop on some gloves, grab a cherry pitter (no really, you need one for this recipe, I like this one) and work your way through it.

Pop the pits into a small saucepan and the pitted cherries into a bowl.  It doesn’t matter if the pits still have a bit of cherry flesh on them, you can remove this later.

Put your pitted cherries into a high sided container and blitz briefly with a stick blender.  To be honest I’ve probably blitzed this to much but it still worked.  You want to break up the fruit to release all the good stuff, but not pure it completely.

Put your blitzed cherries back into your pan and pop it on the stove.  You want to cook it down a bit to concentrate the flavours and give it a lovely jammy quality.

Allow to cool a bit, then strain.  This is another fiddly bit.  You’ll need to push the flesh through the strainer.  I started with a spatula but found a plastic cup worked better.

When you’ve got most of the fluid out put it on another bowl to weigh it.  You need about 560 grams of liquid.  If you don’t have enough, keep straining.  If you just can’t get any more you can top up with water, but to be honest you’ll better off to keep working at it.

If you have to much, put the liquid back into the pan and cook off some liquid until you’ve reduced it down a bit.  Then cool and weigh again. 

In the meantime, add your cream (1 and 3/4 cups) to the pits and simmer gently for about 10 mins, then leave to cool.

Once you finally have the right volume of cherry liquid, leave to cool.  Pop a bowl into an ice bath, add your cherry liquid and strain the cherry pit cream into your cherry liquid.  Add salt (1/8 teaspoon) and 1 table spoon lemon juice and whisk until smooth.  Leave to cool in the ice-bath, stirring occasionally.

Put your mix into the fridge to chill. This will take a couple of hours at least.

If you don’t have time to churn it today the mix will keep for a few days in the fridge.

If you have a self-refrigerating ice-cream churn (more about these later), turn it on for about 10 mins to cool first. 

Give your mix a good stir, then poor into your ice-cream maker.

Depending on your machine the ice-cream will take about 20mins to churn.  It should increase in volume and be thick like soft serve.

I used to poke at mine through the door to try and get to churn evenly but I found if I just leave it alone it doesn’t make much difference.   

Pop into a pre chilled container and into the freezer for a few hours to firm up, but it’s also delicious straight out of the churner. 

This ice-cream is simple but so so so delicious.  Tastes amazing on its own, or with a drizzle of chocolate sauce for a Cherry Ripe effect.

Calm yourself down and eat some of this divine cherry ice-cream!

Roast cherry ice cream

A delicious cherry ice cream with the pits roasted in
Prep Time2 hrs
Churning + optional extra freezing12 hrs 30 mins
Total Time14 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: cherry ice cream, cherry ice cream recipe, easy ice cream, easy ice cream recipe, Roast cherry ice cream

Equipment

  • ice cream churner
  • oven and stove top proof pan
  • small saucepan
  • strainer
  • cherry pitter
  • kitchen scales

Ingredients

  • 56 ounces (1.5 kg) whole fresh cherries, pits in approx. 10 cups
  • 2/3 cup (145 gms) caster sugar
  • 1 & 2/3 cups (400ml) thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice about half a medium lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch table salt

Instructions

  • Pre heat oven to 445°F (230°C)
  • Remove the stems and weigh your cherries. You will need approx. 1.5kg but leave the pits in
  • Put cherries in an oven proof and stove top compatible frypan or dish. Sprinkle over 1/2 cup sugar
  • Put dish in oven. Roast for 30 – 40mins until tops are starting to roast and caramelise. Stir and return to oven for a further 10mins.
  • CAUTION: HANDLE WILL BE VERY HOT
    Remove from oven al allow to cool
  • Pit cherries. Place pits in high sided bowl and pits into a small saucepan.
  • Blitz pitted cherries with a stick blender or similar to coarsely chop but preferably not pure.
  • Return blitzed cherries to pan. Put on stove top on medium heat and reduce until jammy.
  • Allow to cool. Strain off liquid. You will need to press the cherries to get as much juice out as possible until you have approx. 550gms of liquid. If you have to much liquid, return to pan until reduced enough. If you have to much you can top up with water but this is unlikely, just keep working at the cherries to get more juice out. Set aside
  • Add cream to cherry pits in saucepan. Simmer on low heat for approx. 10 – 15mins string occasionally. Allow to cool.
  • Strain pits out of cream. Put a bowl into an ice bath, add cherry liquid, strained cream, lemon juice and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  • Once mix has cooled refrigerate. Mix will keep in fridge for 2 days if you don't have time to churn it straight away.
  • If needed prechill your churner and pre freeze your ice cream storage container
  • Pour ice cream into churner and churn for approx. 30mins or untill desired consistency is reach. It will have a soft serve like texture. Eat straight away or put into container in freezer to firm up.