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Author Notes: Our Farmers' Market is going strong here in Sonoma. There's always a Friday Morning Organic Market no matter what the season, but what everyone waits for every year is the kickoff of the Summer Tuesday Night Farmer's Market. That's when most of the town can be found sprawled out on the Plaza lawn with their picnic baskets. Everyone comes to the Tuesday Night Farmer's Market and they don't just come for the socializing They come for the amazing produce.
There are 3 types of fruit that I am giant crow in the trees crazy about. Pomegranates, Figs and Cherries. Unfortunately, these fruits have a very short season so when they're available, I will knock you over to get to them. I'm not kidding. The most delicate of these seems to be the cherries. Too much sun, no cherries, too much rain, no cherries. Last Spring, we had a lot of late rain and boom, overnight the bountiful cherries I was seeing on all the trees were gone. But sometimes it's just right. That's the case right now. We have hit cherry perfection here in Sonoma. That's why I'm taking advantage of whatever I can get my mitts on since the weather here in Wine Country can turn on a dime this time of year. The cherries we've been getting here in Sonoma are not Bing cherries. Those will be along in a few weeks. What I've been buying are early cherries known as Chelan.
I think there's almost no better way to enjoy cherries than in vanilla ice cream and while we're at it, adding a little bit of dark chocolate never hurt anything either. Far from it. While I was at the market looking for chocolate to chunk up for the ice cream, Alan handed me a container of chocolate pearls made by Valrhona.
Cherries and pearls they seem made for each other.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup chocolate pearls
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pitted cherries
- Wash and pit the cherries. Cut the cherries in half and in half again to have nice bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together: 1 and 1/2 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of sugar.
- When this is well mixed and the sugar dissolved, add in 2 cups of whipping cream.
- Add in the vanilla.
- Whisk everything together well and pour it into an ice cream machine. Churn for about 20 minutes then add in the cherry pieces, and the chocolate pearls or pieces.
- Let the machine churn for another 8 minutes or so, or until the ice cream is ready to be scooped into a container and put into the freezer.
- Let the ice cream "age" in the freezer for an hour or so, for the best texture. Serve it up!