cherry crisp ice cream

Jeffrey and I have adopted the phrase “silly putty gift”. We first heard this phrase from friends several years ago when someone confessed that they really wanted silly putty so they gave it to someone close to them as a gift so that they could use it. We laughed and then quickly adopted the phrase ourselves. Several weeks ago I called Jeffrey at work and said “hey babe, I got you a silly putty gift today.” I had just happened to run to Williams-Sonoma and they had ice cream makers on sale. We have had a counter-top ice cream freezer for several years, but it had become warped from use and every-time we made ice cream Jeffrey would get frustrated that the ice cream maker no longer worked as it should. So when I saw the new ice cream maker with two frozen canisters I knew it was time to upgrade. Yes it was a “silly putty” gift, but it was/is a gift that Jeffrey gets to use and enjoy as well.

So now that we have this new ice cream maker we have been taking advantage of it. I have made peanut butter ice cream (an all-time favorite), vanilla ice cream, and now this cherry crisp ice cream. Let me just tell you this ice cream screams 4th of July. It is fantastic! While this recipe does require some waiting, (It is best frozen solid so after the initial freezing in the ice cream machine you do need to transfer it and let it freeze again.) I promise it is worth the wait! I am not a naturally patient person; however, this ice cream is so delicious I will be making it again and again even if it means I need to wait longer than normal.

Cherry Crisp Ice Cream

For the crisp streusel:
1 stick (8 tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup almond meal, Pamela’s baking mix or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolls oats (I used GF from Trader Joe’s)

For the cherries:
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the ice cream:
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the crisp streusel, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except the oats. Blend together by rubbing the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips. (You can also use a pastry blender or two forks if you prefer.) When the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse sand, stir in the oats and mix well. Spread the mixture out in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Break up into small clumps. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is browns and crisp, about 25-30 minutes total. Remove from the oven and let cool. Freeze until ready to use.

*This will make way more then you need for the ice cream but it is delicious served over vanilla ice cream, yogurt, or served on top of grilled fruit so you won’t regret making the full recipe.

To make the cherries, preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Combine the cherries and the sugar in a small roasting pan and toss well to combine. Roast the cherries for 10 minutes, or until they begin to release their juices. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cherries cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the ice cream, combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in small bowl and whisk to a smooth slurry. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt and whisk until smooth. Combine the remaining 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons of milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, the vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to the heat and bring back to a boil, stirring with a spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Whisk the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before churning. (Alternatively, you can place the bowl with the mixture into a larger bowl with an ice bath and stir until chilled.)

Once chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Layer the finished ice cream into a storage container (I used a loaf pan) with all of the cherries and a generous amount of the crisp streusel. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats.