Toasted Peanut Cherry Ice Cream

This is a long overdue post, but I felt I needed to share it so I scheduled it before I left for my mini vacation to Lake George. The third ice cream in my ice cream making-capade series is an homage to one of my favorite foods and a childhood classic…the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Along with flutter-nutters, grilled cheeses,  tomato soup and salads, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches satisfied all my needs as a freshman in college {Mind you I went to a culinary school but for some reason wanted the simplest of foods outside of classes} I’m a sucker for anything nut flavored, especially peanuts and nothing says summer more than fresh juicy cherries.

Toasted peanuts and sweet cherries..what a perfect combination, right?!! Using fresh cherries in this ice cream makes all the difference, pitting them takes extra tender loving care and time…but it’s definitely worth it! Sandwich it between peanut butter cookies for the ultimate ice cream nod to this childhood classic. 

Toasted Peanut Cherry Ice Cream

Ingredients {Makes 1 quart}

2 1/4 cups – Organice Cane Sugar

1 cup – Water

1/2 cup – Cherry Liqueur

2 cups – Fresh Cherries {pitted}

3/4 cup – Whole Raw Peanuts

3/4 cup – Organice Cane Sugar

2 cups – Heavy Cream

1 cup – 2% Milk

1/4 teaspoon – Sea Salt

5 large – Egg Yolks

Recipe {Adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones}

Poach the cherries, by combining the 2 1/4 cups of sugar and water, bringing it to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce it to a simmer, add the cherries about cook until the fruit is soft. {about 5-7 minutes}

Let the cherries cool completely in the syrup, and refrigerate until the ice cream is ready to churn. {I left mine overnight} Drain the cool cherries, saving the syrup. {The syrup is packed with flavor so use if to drizzle over your ice cream, make cocktails or any recipe that requires simple syrup} Chop the cherries into 1/4 inch pieces, and chill until the you’re ready to add them into the ice cream.

Prepare your peanut mixture by, pre-heating your oven to 350*F. Spread the peanuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden brown and smells nutty. {about 15 minutes} Cool completely.

In a food processor, pulse the cooled nuts and 3/4 cups of the sugar until finely ground. {It should look like sand, don’t pulse it too much to the point it becomes peanut butter}

For the base, combine the peanut mixture, heavy cream, milk and salt in a saucepan and heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat, and let steep for 20 minutes or you taste a distinct peanut flavor.

Whisk the yolks just to break them up, and heat your cream mixture until it reaches a bare simmer, reduce to medium heat. Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot mixture while whisking the yolks. Repeat with another 1/2 of cream, and stir the hot cream mixture as you slowly add the yolk mixture. Cook carefully over medium heat, constantly stirring until it has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, holding a path. {about 1 -2 minutes}

Strain the base through a fine strainer into a clean container over a ice-water bath. With a clean wooden spoon or spatula stir your base until it is cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream, in your machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Place the container you’ll be using in the freezer in the meantime. At the last-minute of churning, when the ice cream has begun to leave a clear path {looking like soft serve} add in your cherries or fold them by hand after placing it into the container. Enjoy right away or freeze for at least 4 hours for a firmer ice cream.


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