Cherry Bounce Gelato
A number of lasses from the Cherry Bounce Club have been asking me about what to do with the cherries once they've strained them from the hooch. Ideas immediately popped into my head, from Cherry Icebox Cookies, to Chocolate Covered Cherry Bon-Bons (aren't Jane's spectacular?!), to Cherry Ice Cream and beyond.
I'm sorry it's taken me over a year to get to this post, but it's seasonally appropriate just now, and besides - those cherries are so full of whisky/vodka/brandy that they keep very well, and pretty much indefinitely, in the freezer.
In the end, I settled on cherry ice cream. More specifically, I chose an eggless Sicilian-type gelato that I've made before and come to love. It's lighter tasting than other homemade ice cream recipes, most of which are made with anywhere from 4 to 8 yolks, as well as a few cups of whipping cream, but still so creamy and delicious you'll find yourself scooping another wee bowl.
I know that many of you were thinking ahead when you put together this year's batch, and pitted the cherries before you poured the hooch over top. I did not, but it only took me a few minutes to get the pits out of my semi-frozen fruit (again, because of all that booze, they don't freeze solid).
Of course, if you used peaches, mangos or another type of fruit for your Bounce, they will also make a most delicious boozy-fruit ice cream...or perhaps another treat that catches your fancy?
Cherry Bounce Gelato
Creamy, alcoholic and delicious. Need I say more?
:Yield - 1 Litre
- Hooch Macerated Cherries, saved from your Cherry Bounce - 1 lb
- Light Brown Sugar - ¾ Cup (180 ml), lightly packed (divided)
- Half & Half - 2 cups (500 ml)
- Whole Milk - 1 cup (250 ml)
- Tapioca Starch or Cornstarch - 2 Tbsp (30 ml)
- Salt - pinch
- Vanilla - 1 tsp. (5 ml)
- Cherry Bounce - 1 Tble (15 ml)
Pit cherries and halve. Reserve ¾ cup cherries for later. Combine the rest with ¼ cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Puree in a food mill (coarse plate) or food processor. If using a food mill, discard the skins left on the top of the plate.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining brown sugar, starch and salt.
Bring half & half and milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in sugar mixture. When sugar is dissolved, stir in pureed cherries. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a glass or metal bowl, then set that in a larger bowl full of ice for 30 minutes to cool. Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and set the bowl in the freezer until completely cooled, but not yet starting to freeze (2 to 3 hours).
Stir in reserved (¾ cup) cherries, vanilla and Cherry Bounce. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm. Remove the gelato from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to soften slightly for easier scooping.
- For super creamy gelato, substitute whipping cream for the milk. You only live once, right?
- Want Chocolate-Cherry Bounce Gelato? Add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa to the brown sugar, starch and salt.
- Conventionally grown corn is genetically modified. If you want to avoid GMO, use either organic cornstarch or tapioca starch.
- To speed up cooling, put the hot cream mixture into the freezer for 1 hour, then transfer to the fridge for another 2 to 3 hours before pouring it into your ice cream maker.
- If you've drunk Bounce, substitute 1 tablespoon of vodka. The alcohol keeps the gelato from freezing solid, and makes scooping a lot easier.
- No ice cream maker? Check out this maker-free method from a trusted pastry chef.