Fresh cherries are in season right now and nothing beats using this seasonal ingredient in a tasty dessert! Especially when said dessert is homemade bourbon cherry cheesecake ice cream.
This recipe starts and ends with bourbon cherries. The ice cream base is rich with an ultra creamy texture. And the finished product is topped with graham cracker crumbs mixed with brown butter and brown sugar. If you’re looking for a cherry dessert, this is it!
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Homemade Ice Cream is the Best Ice Cream
Ice cream machines are relatively inexpensive and a worthwhile investment if you are a homebaker and/or you love ice cream.
And homemade ice cream is way better than anything you can find at the grocery store. It’s made from simple ingredients, contains no preservatives, and/or anything you can’t pronounce.
Unlike no-churn ice cream recipes which rely on sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream to create richness and texture, this ice cream gets its richness from egg yolks and cream cheese.
Don’t be scared off by the fact that there are 6 yolks (yes, 6!) in this recipe. Save the egg whites in an airtight container in the fridge for your morning egg scramble or make some meringue!
The ice cream base for this recipe is based off of the NY Time Master Ice Cream recipe. The milk is omitted from the original recipe and cream cheese is added to create a rich, cheesecake-esque flavor that you will love.
Be aware that because of the eggs in this recipe, the ice cream base is cooked to eliminate any possibility of salmonella. Therefore, the ice cream base needs to be chilled thoroughly before churning it. This requires time.
The hardest part is waiting for the base to chill so you can churn then indulge in the finished ice cream!
Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream
One of the best things about this recipe is the bourbon cherry reduction. Cherry season is upon us, so use fresh cherries if they are available in your area. This will produce the best flavor for sure.
If cherries are not available or affordable in your area, simply substitute for frozen cherries.
If using fresh cherries, I highly recommend getting a cherry pitter. It’s one of those kitchen gadgets that you may only use a few times a year, however, it makes the job of pitting cherries so much easier. PS it can also be used to pit olives.
To make the cherry reduction, add the whole, pitted cherries (or frozen cherries), a little sugar and the juice of a lemon to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Let the cherries cook until thick and syrupy. The fruit will break down as it cooks, so no need to chop the cherries. You can smash them a bit with the back of a spoon if you want smaller pieces.
A great thing about this recipe is the bourbon. Add it in at the end of cooking the cherries – this is the perfect way to finish them off. You can, of course, omit the bourbon if you choose and let the sweet cherries shine through.
Topping it off
To top off this indulgent Cherry ice cream, graham crackers are mixed with brown sugar and melted butter that’s browned to bring out a slight nuttiness. This creates a crunchy, delightful graham cracker crumble topping that you’ll surely be eating by the spoonful.
Once the cream is churned, dollop in the bourbon cherries, swirl with a knife then freeze until firm. Top with graham cracker crumbles and extra bourbon cherry reduction, if desired, just prior to serving.
Can I substitute the fresh cherries in this recipe?
Yes! If fresh cherries are not available or affordable in your area, substitute with frozen cherries in equal amounts. I have not tried this recipe with canned cherry pie filling, but that could also work. Cherry jam is another good idea for substituting the fresh cherries.
Looking for more ice cream recipes? Give these a try:
- No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
- S’mores Ice Cream
- Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream
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