This cherry chocolate chip ice cream is made with fresh cherries and semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in a rich vanilla custard-based ice cream.
If you love Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia" ice cream, you will love this homemade version. We used fresh cherries, but frozen cherries would work as well.
We melted semisweet chocolate chips for this recipe (pictured), but any good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate may be used. Instead of churning the cherries into the ice cream, I tucked them into the still-soft ice cream and then swirled gently to distribute them.
- For the Cherry Mixture:
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh halved or quartered pitted sweet cherries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- For the Custard:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- dash salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- For the Chocolate Mixture:
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken up
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Put the prepared cherries into a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and syrupy. Put in a container, cover, and refrigerate.
In a large saucepan combine the cream, milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks with the salt and the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Set aside.
Heat the cream and milk mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat. While whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.
Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and place it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring until the mixture reaches about 175 F to 180 F, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Note: The custard must reach at least 160 F, the minimum safe temperature for eggs.
Strain the mixture through a metal mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Transfer the chilled custard to the ice cream maker and churn following the manufacturer's directions.
Meanwhile, when the ice cream is about halfway through the freezing time, melt the chocolate with the vegetable oil in a bowl over simmering water. Let it cool slightly and put it in a small food storage bag. If it hardens, place the bag in warm water.
When the ice cream is soft frozen, cut a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drip chocolate slowly into the churning ice cream. The chocolate will harden in the churning ice cream, creating the chocolate chips.
When the ice cream is done, transfer it to a freezer container. Cover and freeze for about 30 minutes to firm a bit more, and then swirl or tuck the cherries into the still-soft ice cream.
Cover and return to the freezer to freeze until firm.
*Dip a spoon into the mixture and then draw your finger down the back of a spoon. If the path stays clear and the film left on the spoon is even and doesn't run, the custard is ready.
- What does "coat the back of a spoon" mean? Dip a spoon into the mixture and then draw your finger down the back of a spoon. If the path stays clear and the film left on the spoon is even and doesn't run, the custard is ready.