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Author Notes: This post isn't only about ice cream, it is also about Missouri port wine! I always like to have some port wine on hand from my home state. At the peak of summer, what better way to harmonize the fruits of labor of diligent farmers and vintners than to bring together sweet cherries and Missouri port, with chocolate to seal the deal! ♥ Note: this is a labor-intensive recipe ~ take short-cuts at your own risk! —nlog2n
Makes about 1.5 quarts
- 3/4-1 pints sweet cherries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons port wine (I like Missouri vintage port from Mount Pleasant Winery)
Chocolate custard base
- 1 large egg
- 0.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream (the best you can get)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 0.25-0.5 cups granulated sugar
- 0.5-0.75 cups natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- Beat egg until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in 0.5 cup sugar and all the vanilla until light and airy. Set aside.
- Place heavy cream, milk and 0.25-0.5 cup sugar in saucepan and heat on medium, whisking from time to time, until mixture just reaches 175 deg F (just simmering).
- Remove cream mixture from heat. Whisk a tiny bit of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking quickly and continuously to prevent scrambling. Do this a few times. Now go the other way ~ gradually mix the warmed egg mixture into the saucepan containing the remaining hot cream mixture.
- Return the egg-cream mixture to the rest of the cream mixture in the saucepan in a small stream (or a little bit at a time), whisking quickly and continuously.
- Carefully whisk in 0.5-0.75 cocoa powder until evenly blended. Add a pinch of salt. Adjust taste, if needed, with a little more sugar, cocoa powder and/or salt.
- Return saucepan to medium heat, whisking continuously, until mixture just reaches 180 deg F (just boiling).
- Remove the custard from heat and give it another few whisks off heat. Strain the hot custard mixture through a medium-fine sieve into a large mixing bowl (stainless steel, ceramic or glass – not plastic). Allow the custard to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- To prepare the port-soaked cherries, soak the fresh cherries in a salt-water bath for a few mins (to clean and disinfect). Rinse and shake dry in a colander. Then de-stem, pit and finely chop the cherries into desired bite-size pieces. Evenly mix them with 0.25 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp port wine. Cover and refrigerate alongside the chocolate custard overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- Drain the cherries of their excess juice and soaking liquid. Reserve that excess liquid to make little flavored ice cubes (or to add to a sparkling drink). Add the drained cherries to the chilled custard, and mix well. Return the cherry custard mixture to the refrigerator until ready to churn.
- Prepare the ice cream maker for churning. Carefully and slowly add the chilled custard into the canister. Churn for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the texture of the mixture thickens into a soft-serve consistency.
- Turn the machine off and unplug it. Use a wooden spoon to transfer the ice cream into freezer-safe container(s) and freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.