Here’s to July – the National Ice Cream Month! And what better way to celebrate the end of ice cream month and the tail end of cherry season than with a boozy Cherry Kahlua Ice Cream! You wouldn’t believe how addictively delicious this ice cream is, and that’s before you even get to the Kahula!
I’m sure many of you have stories about going fruit picking as kids. I am no different. I have some great memories of picking berries and cherries with my family in New Zealand. My sister and I would climb up the trees to get to the best cherries and compete with each other to see who ended up with more. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds though, since only two out of every three cherries we picked ever made it to the basket.
There are photographs of us smiling with fistfuls of cherries, red teeth and red lips and all, and red stains down the front of our shirts. My sister had this strange habit of getting “tipsy” after eating one too many and then giggle incessantly. And even though I always had plans for using the cherries in all kinds of baked goods, that almost never happened, since we would just end up eating them all before the cherries ever had a chance to serve a bigger purpose.
There was no cherry picking for Mr K and myself this year, so we waited till they started making an appearance in our local grocery store a few months ago. And as much as I wanted to just grab those fresh, juicy, sweet cherries and stuff my face full of them, I decided to practice a great deal of self-restraint and give these cherries the credit they deserved and use them in a fantastic recipe! Enter, Cherry Kahlua ice cream!
Kahlua is one of my favourite liqueurs and it’s one of those things that I look for a reason to use in my recipes rather than let the flavour combos come together organically in my head. Then again, I am a coffee junkie, so my opinion might be slightly biased. That boozy kick completely elevates the sweet, fruity notes of this ice cream and makes it dangerously addictive.
I think I did those beautiful cherries justice in the end though! What do you think? 🙂 I used Bing cherries for this recipe, but any kind of fresh, sweet cherry should work.
I added a generous 1/4 cup of Kahlua, to give this ice cream a wonderful boozy flavour with just a hint of coffee that perfectly complements and elevates the cherry flavour! However, the booze also means that it interferes slightly with the freezing process of the ice cream, so you will get a slightly softer ice cream that melts a little faster than regular ice cream.
But hey, what that means in the end though is that you will be just that bit more eager to eat the ice cream. Just as well, because this one tastes so freaking good!
- Fresh cherries (500g / 1.1 lbs, unpitted)
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp Kahlua (optional, you can use coffee instead for a non-alcoholic option)
- 1¼ cup of half and half
- 3 cups pouring cream
- 5 yolks
- 150 g sugar
- Cherry compote (that you prepared above)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- ¼ cup Kahlua or cold coffee
- Pit the cherries and halve them. Combine all the ingredients (except Kahlua) in a saucepan.
- Heat until the liquid starts to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid turns syrupy.
- Remove from the heat, let it cool completely and then stir in the Kahlua.
- Keep in the fridge until needed. Best when chilled.
- Combine the sugar and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla. Slowly incorporate about ½ cup of the warm milk into the egg yolks, while whisking (tempering the egg yolks). Transfer the egg yolk and milk mix back to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and stir while heating over medium heat.
- Stir regularly to make sure the milk doesn't catch the bottom, and the eggs don’t curdle. If the mix is heating too fast, lower the heat. The custard is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and you can swipe a clean path with your finger.
- Stir in the rest of the cream and Kahlua and leave it in the fridge to chill for at least a few hours or overnight.
- Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions. During the last 5 minutes, add the cooled/chilled Cherry compote to mix through.
- Transfer to an ice cream tin/container (I used a chilled bread loaf tin) and leave it to harden completely for a few hours.
- Transfer the custard into a large flat-bottomed dish with a lid and keep it in the freezer.
- Check on the custard and whisk it with a hand-held beater at hourly intervals. Keep doing this until the ice cream hardens in the freezer. You might want to scrape the hardened sides with a fork first before you whisk your ice cream.
- When the custard has thickened and is mostly frozen, add the cherry compote and fold it in.
You will not regret making this ice cream this summer, I’m certain of that. The beautiful cherry chunks swirled through this ice cream, really add to the texture and the overall flavours as well. I was so tempted to keep eating this ice cream till it was all gone, but I resisted. I very quickly came to regret that decision, because once my husband got to it, he cleaned it up like he had never had ice cream before.
I have learnt my lesson. But hey, it’s just one more excuse to make this again.
You just cannot lose with this flavour combo.
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