Loaded with pure fruit taste, it is smooth and glossy and remains poor in fats -therefore light in calories-, a delightful summer treat. That’s an easy and quick home-made no-churn cherry ice cream that comes egg-free, without heavy cream, custard or sweetened condensed milk. It only needs plain milk, -brown or white- sugar or honey as a real sherbet. But, if you like it vegan, use your preferred dairy and sweetener.
Its composition lies on the Italian edge of creamlike gelato to chill the blazing days. Thus, it can also be served as a cherry sorbet between two courses with different intense flavours to “cleanse” the palette. For instance, try it amidst one first dish with fish and a main with braised meat or stewed veggies.
Depending on the variety of the cherries, the colour range of the ice cream will vary from pink to dramatic burgundy. The large dark red -almost black-, sweet cherries which we used, resulted in a blueish depth to the garnet tones.
If you like to enrich the cherry ice cream, you may add chocolate chips at the final stage of the preparation – see below in the recipe. Furthermore, you can serve it at the end of a meal with alcohol as a real “affogato”, by “drowning” it in a shot of vodka, rum, cherry grappa or liqueur.
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Easy & quick, no-churn, light cherry ice cream
Preparation: 20 minutes plus the time in the freezer. Much less if using frozen pitted cherries. Large fleshy, sweet cherries give the best result. Easy and quick recipe.
Ingredients (for 6 people)
700-800 g cherries
4.5-6 tbs (60-70 g) white or brown sugar or honey or another fruit sweetener
pinch of salt
220 ml milk of your choice – cow’s or soy or coconut
1 vanilla stick
optional: extra sugar, depending on your taste and chocolate pieces or chips
To prepare the fresh cherries – skip for frozen:
Wash them and remove the stalks and stones – with a cherry or olive pitter, it will take about 10 minutes. Roughly chop into pieces and put them in a container in the freezer for min. 2 hours (to freeze).
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, with the vanilla stick and the lemon peel. Add the 4.5 tbs sugar (or honey) and stir to melt. Remove the vanilla and strain the liquid into a container with a lid, then, keep it in the freezer for min. 2 hours (to freeze).
Notes: (1) It is preferable not to combine all the sugar or honey from the beginning, as you can add an extra amount to the final mixture of the frozen ingredients.
(2) The whole vanilla stick is reusable if you clean it and let it dry.
Note: Depending on the blender the mixing may require making in 2 batches. Blend the two doses of the cherry ice cream at the end, to obtain the same taste.
At this point, try and adjust the sweetness by adding extra sugar (1-2 tbs) or honey, if necessary, according to your sweet tooth. In this case, blend once more. Transfer into the ice cream container and add the chocolate pieces or chips, if you opt for them. Put back in the freezer for 2 hours or until serving time.
Allow about 5 mins for the ice cream to come to temper. Form balls with a spoon or an ice cream scoop previously dipped in water. Top with some chilled cherries and mint leaves for extra freshness. If you fancy for the adult “affogato” version of no-churn cherry ice cream with alcohol, pour over a shot of vodka, rum or grappa.