Make Ahead

Cherry Pit Ice Cream with Cherry Ripple and Brown Butter Streusel

July 26, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
  • Prep time 8 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Makes about 1 quart
Author Notes

Save all your cherry pits to make this amazing ice cream with the most delicate bitter almond flavor!

Getting to the kernel requires smashing the pits open, which can get kind of messy. Additionally, a toxic chemical, amygdalin, may be released when doing so, but apparently it can be neutralized by cooking. So it's up to you if you want to break the pits open to get to the kernel or not, but I did so because 1. it's fun to smash things, and 2. I wanted to extract as much of the bitter almond flavor as possible.

I used the blank slate Philadelphia-style ice cream recipe from Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream as the base for the ice cream and added a cherry ripple for fruitiness and brown butter streusel for crunch. Both the ripple and streusel are also adapted from recipes in Hello, My Name is Ice Cream. I really love the combination of all 3 parts, especially the streusel, because I really enjoy the extra texture it provides. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

What You'll Need
  • For the cherry ripple and cherry pit ice cream
  • 1 pound sour cherries*
  • 200 grams sugar, divided
  • 100 grams corn syrup divided
  • 380 grams heavy cream
  • 400 grams whole milk (plus 2 tablespoons milk if using the cornstarch)
  • 20 grams milk powder
  • 10 grams cornstarch or 3 grams commercial stabilizer (like Sevagel)
  • 1 cup brown butter streusel (recipe below)
  • For the brown butter streusel
  • 37 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 grams flour
  • scant 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 25 grams brown sugar
  • 25 grams sugar
  1. For the cherry ripple and cherry pit ice cream
  2. *Note, I made this with sour cherries, but if you want to use sweet cherries, you'll probably want to reduce the amount of sugar and corn syrup.
  3. Remove the stems and pit the cherries, reserving the pits. Combine the cherries, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the contents to the saucepan and continue to cook until thick and jammy. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Place the cherry pits in a sturdy freezer bag and cover with a dish towel. Use a heavy saucepan or mallet to crack the pits open to expose the white kernels within. I would suggest doing this on the ground with a cutting board underneath because there's a good chance you'll make some holes in the bag.
  6. Place the cracked pits and kernels in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the cream, milk, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. In the meantime, prepare a large ice water bath. When the mixture is boiling, transfer to a metal bowl and place in the ice water bath. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
  7. Mix the milk powder, sugar, and commercial stabilizer, if using, in a small bowl. If using the cornstarch, mix with 2 tablespoons of cold milk. Prepare another ice water bath.
  8. After the ice cream base has finished steeping, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the saucepan and whisk in the milk powder mixture. Bring to a boil again, stirring to prevent scorching. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, then add the cornstarch slurry, if using, and continue to cook for another minute until slightly thickened.
  9. Pour the ice cream base into a metal bowl and place in the ice water bath. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for 4 hour or overnight. Place a storage container in the freezer.
  10. Churn the ice cream base in your ice cream machine until thick and creamy.
  11. Spoon a layer of the cherry ripple on the bottom of the storage container. Scatter some of the streusel over the ripple, then spread a third of the ice cream into the container. Drizzle a third of the ripple over the ice cream and sprinkle a third of the streusel over that. Repeat the layers two more times (you may have cherry ripple than you need; if so, save in the fridge for up to 2 weeks). Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, cover with the lid, and freeze for at least 4 hours, until completely firm.
  1. For the brown butter streusel
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk solids have separated and started to brown. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars. Add the browned butter and mix until there are no dry bits. Transfer the streusel to the sheet pan and break up any large lumps.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir the streusel to redistribute on the pan. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the streusel is golden brown and cooked through. Cool the streusel on a wire rack and then store in the freezer until ready to use.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

1 Review

catayl January 11, 2023
Cherry pit extract is not food! That lovely almond flavor from cooking with cherry pits is the flavor of cyanide. Cherry pit extract has been used to kill people by poisoners for hundreds of years.