At least twice a day my kids ask for a popsicle or ice cream to cool down. Honestly, I do not mind a bit since it is a good excuse to indulge myself and I love to experiment with different flavors at home. Since organic cherries are in season and incredibly juicy, I could not resist sharing this simple recipe with you.
Many recipes call for eggs to create a custard style ice cream which requires a lot more time and effort. You may get a smoother texture with very little ice crystals but it is hard to top this cherry vanilla ice cream recipe which takes 5 minutes to whip together before pouring into the ice cream maker. My kids can easily make it themselves and I am sure they will by the end of the summer. Just make sure the ingredients are cold to begin with or chill them before churning. Then freeze overnight.
If you have made my ice creams with coconut milk, you will notice this cherry vanilla ice cream does not thicken into a soft serve consistency after churning in the ice cream maker. I did a little research on why and believe the guar gum added to the coconut milk is the reason. Plus, my cream does not contain carrageenan which helps bind the ingredients together but I do not want the inflammation or upset stomach for a little thicker ice cream.
Jeni of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream recommends adding cream cheese to the ice cream base since it is high in casein proteins which bind the fat to the water in the milk and gives the ice cream more body. Interesting enough, cream cheese is made with some kind of gum like coconut milk. Organic Valley uses Organic Locust Beam Gum also known as Carob Bean gum.
You are probably wondering about the side effects of these gums and research is showing there may be some health benefits to them. Guar Gum contains a lot of fiber which may reduce cholesterol absorption, make you feel fuller so you eat less and decrease constipation. The downside is it can increase gas and if you have IBS or other intestinal issues, you may want to avoid it.
With that said, there are not any gums in this recipe. It only contains all natural ingredients just like the ice cream made for royalty in the 1700′s except we have the luxury of using an electronic ice cream maker. Can you imagine packing ice, straw and salt around a small container of cream and cranking a handle for an hour? We are so spoiled now.
1) Blend the cream, milk, sugar, Back to Organic Margarita or Lemon Twist Himalayan salt and vanilla sugar, bean or extract in a high powdered blender or Vitamix. (Note: The vanilla bean will add vanilla specks and a lot more flavor than the extract. Vanilla bean sugar has real vanilla bean pieces in the sugar. Here is how to make vanilla bean sugar. ) Pour into your ice cream maker. Mix for 20 minutes. Then add 1 to 2 cups quartered cherries. Blend for a minute or until fully mixed. Pour into freezer safe dish. Freeze overnight.
2) Serve with fresh cherries, toasted pistachios or almond slivers. Enjoy!
Note: If you add 1.5 ounces or 3 tablespoons of cream cheese to this ice cream, please let me know what you think. I have not tried it with this recipe. You may want to decrease the amount of heavy cream to about 1.5 cups if you add cream cheese.