Sunday, June 27, 2010

CSA Day: Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

So far all the recipes I've cooked with my vegetable shares from the CSA have been healthful and mostly green colored, but the extreme summer heat has me hankering for some cool sweet treats. It just so happens that last week Harvest Astoria dropped a big bunch of fresh picked cherries in my lap. My first thought was cherry pie but that's LAME, plus I made a multi-berry pie that included cherries last month. It had a Cinnamon Chex crunchy topping and was delicious. My favorite dessert is ice cream in any form so I decided to make my own version of the Ben & Jerry classic, Cherry Garcia.

You will need:
2 quarts (separated) pitted cherries (preferably from Harvest Astoria)
2 cups (separated) sugar
3 large strips orange zest
2 pints cream
2 cups skim milk
5 egg yolks (Harvest Astoria)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups dark chocolate (60% cacao) chips

In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, bring the cream and milk to a boil but be careful not to let it boil over the sides of the pan and make a huge mess like I've done before. Do not want.

While the cream is heating, whisk together one cup of sugar, the egg yolks, vanilla and salt in a large stainless steel bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook one cup of the cherries with one cup of the sugar and the orange zest strips. This probably won't boil over unless you're really doing something wrong but, nonetheless, keep an eye on it. After about five minutes all the sugar should be melted and the cherries should pretty much fall apart. Transfer to a blender and puree or use a fancy schmancy immersion blender like me and just keep everything in one pan.

Continue whisking the eggs and sugar until the mixture drips from the bottom of the whisk in a ribbon like this ^.

Once your eggs have reached what we call "ribbon stage" very slowly drizzle and whisk in about one third of the cream into the eggs. In culinary terms, this is called tempering. Adding a small amount of the cream into the eggs slowly rises the temperature of the mixture so as not to scramble the eggs once they are mixed with the hot cream.

Now slowly add the tempered egg mixture back into the rest of the hot cream, whisking continuously. Add the pureed cherries, turn low heat back on under the pan and cook, stirring continuously until the mixture is thickened to a sauce consistency and can coat the back of a spoon.

After the ice cream base has been thickened, refrigerate it overnight. The next day spin the base in an ice cream maker until it is the consistency of soft serve. Fold in the rest of the cherries and chocolate chips and freeze until firm.

My Cherry Garcia recipe turned out amazing. The CSA eggs made it so rich and the cherries gave it an amazing color and flavor. The dark chocolate gave it a depth I think the original lacks but my chips were way too big. B&J's fudge flakes work best. Can't wait to see what we get next week!

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