Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Day of School With A Cherry On Top

Recipe updated and notes added 1 Sept. 2007 and 2 Sept. 2007
Before I put the batch of ice cream in the ice cream machine this evening, I did homework for three hours. Yes, did, not completed.
And it is only the first day of school. A shortened day of school.

Maybe I should be worried. But it's hard to worry when a cold, creamy dessert is awaiting, with a hint of a pale pink swirl and dots of graham crackers amid tawny specks of toasted almonds (though maybe that's just the pink playing with me.)

The only drawback is this ice cream with a twang, I mean tang, is just a tad bit too sweet for my liking. But mom thinks it is just right. (I ran out of sugar while making it.)

Also, I'm currently in a stage where weights are the nicest measures because they allow for laziness and no scooping or leveling with sugar and flours, so I've embraced them, though I'm trying to be nice and use measures too, but really, I'm lazy.
Mallets really do come in handing for chopping nuts too.

Almond Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

loosely adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein
makes about a quart

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon (14 g) brown sugar
4 ounces (115 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 graham cracker sheets (45 g)†
1/2 cup (85 g) whole almonds, toasted and chopped (or hit with a does the job)
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cherry preserves* OR 1 cup (200 g) pitted tart/sour cherries, drained**

additional almonds and sour cherry preserves (optional), to serve

Beat the sugar and the cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and almond extract. Set aside.

Meanwhile bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the cheese mixture and pour entire mixture back into pan. Place over low heat and whisk constantly until thickens slightly, about 10 minutes, making sure not to let the mixture come to a boil. (For those who are ready to probe it with a thermometer, the temperature to cook custards to is 170F or 77C. Just don't let it go over 180F or 79C.) Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Let cool slightly and stir in heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. About 5 minutes before done freezing, add almonds and broken bits of graham crackers. Add half of cherry preserves. When ice cream is done, stir in remaining cherry preserves. Place in freezer for at least an hour to harden.

*Our sour cherry preserves, or marabaye abaloo, are homemade. The cherries are whole and in a syrup, so cooking down cherries with lots of sugar and a bit of water will probably yield similar results. I'm not sure what is available at stores involving cherries since I've never bought any, or at least not that I remember buying.
** The second time I made this, I used cherries that had been cooked with sugar and then frozen, the juices reserved and cooked down into a syrup separately. This would probably be easier to replicate, using cherry pie filling that the cherries have been picked out of, or canned pitted cherries. Frozen cherries could work, but it would not be as sweet. Maybe one day I'll try it with one of those to see if it works, but I'm thinking if I run out of cherries I'd just make a different sort of ice cream. Though it is tasty...
If you prefer ice cream with more chunks in every bite and are a bit overwhelmed by all the almond, then use5 (75 g) graham cracker sheets, and 1/3 cup (50g) toasted almonds instead of the amounts called for. I'm still on the fence about the reduced almonds, but I definitely like the increase in graham crackers.

1 comment:

Gina said...