For about a year now I have been talking about getting an ice cream maker. I did a lot of research and spoke to a bunch of people about what kind I should buy. Karen over at Our Life In The Kitchen convinced me to go ahead and get the old fashioned kind where you use the salt and ice. She has a bunch of amazing ice cream (and other) recipes on her site as well. After I looked at all the reviews I could about the new electric versions I decided that the salt and ice was the one for me.
I had a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond, so I went in to check out what they had. When I got in there, this was the only old fashioned one they had. Since I love all things vintage and it had vintage in the name, I knew it was the one for me. The only problem was that the one on the shelf was the only one they had. The guy told me that I could take that one at a discount, or he would have one delivered to my door, no shipping fee. He said everything was with it, except for the instructions, which I didn’t think I needed anyway, since it couldn’t possibly be that hard to use. I was going to have him send me a new one and then I asked him how much of a discount he was going to give me. He said I could have it for 20% off and then go ahead and use my 20% off coupon I had with me. I decided that for 40% off, I was taking the one on the shelf!
Right away I went online and starting asking everyone for recipes. I perused Tastespotting (one of my favorite things to do in my spare time) for several hours printing out as many as I could find that looked good. I really wanted to try a custard based recipe, but I decided to go for a super easy one, that required very little effort, for me to try first. I found this recipe for peach ice cream at a site called From Calculus to Cupcakes. I thought it was very simple and easy to make without having to cook something on the stove first, then wait for it to chill.
The peach ice cream turned out delicious and we all loved it. The only issues I had was that it was a little bit on the grainy side as far as the texture. I couldn’t figure out why it was like that, so I asked my amazing cousin, Chanelle (who is a fabulous dress designer I have blogged about before) what the problem was. She told me it was because I put the sugar directly in with the ingredients, instead of making a simple syrup out of it first. This time I made the syrup and it came out PERFECT!
This ice cream is seriously heavenly. I am still going to go all out with a custard base ice cream one of these days, but for now, this recipe is delicious, simple and easy. You can use this as a basic recipe and then add in whatever flavor combinations you like. If you did not want to have the coconut flavor, just leave out the coconut milk and add in about 2 cups of half and half instead. You can add in any flavor of extracts you like as well.
Fresh Cherry, Coconut, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
- 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and stems removed
- 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips or pieces, chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 – 13 oz. can coconut milk (I love the organic one by Thai Kitchen)
- 1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 – 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. coconut extract
- 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half or milk)
I have a Ninja Blender and it holds 9 cups. This mixture fills up this blender. If you do not have a blender or food processor that holds that much liquid, you will need to do this in two separate batches.
In a small saucepan put in your sugar and water and whisk over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into blender. Next add in your cherries, chocolate shavings, vanilla and coconut extracts, and all of the milks. Pulse 3 or 4 times, just enough to mix it all up together and chop up the cherries. I didn’t want huge chunks, but didn’t want them in all really small pieces either.
Pour the mixture into the container of a gallon sized ice cream freezer. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s directions.
For my ice cream maker, I mix about 8 parts ice to 1 part rock salt until the mixture reaches the top of the ice cream container. I let it run for about 45 minutes and the texture is perfect. Store in appropriate container in the freezer.