Hi. My name is Nick and my wife’s name is Betsy and we have an ice cream problem.
There happens to be a really delicious homemade ice cream shop within sight from our new apartment in Denver and we go there more than we should. So far we are averaging a few times a week which is excessive, but we chalk it up to the heat.
When I saw some fresh cherries in the store last week though, I decided to try and make some sherbet that would quench my ice cream addiction without burning a hole in my wallet.
What I love about this sherbet is that instead of being super-rich like ice cream, it is tangy and sharp. It has an intense cherry flavor and it also much easier to actually make since you can skip the custard step that you would usually use for ice cream.
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash cherries, halve them, and remove the pits. Lay out cherry halves on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are slightly withered and the juices are bubbling.
2) Let cherries cool briefly and then add to a blender with other ingredients. Blend until mostly smooth.
3) Transfer to the fridge to chill completely or add the mixture to a bowl in a large bowl with ice/salt/water to chill quickly.
4) Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to instructions. When it reaches a soft serve consistency, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze until solid, stirring once or twice as it freezes.
I think it's best to let this thaw for five minutes so it softens a bit before serving.
Recipe very roughly adapted from Bon Appetit July 2013.
Prepping the Cherries
This original recipe used strawberries instead of cherries which makes sense from a work perspective. Pitting all the cherries is a bit of a pain, but I love the flavor and cherries are super-ripe right now.
You want to start with about a pound. It’s okay to go over a bit.
If you happen to have a cherry pitter then you can put it to use for this recipe. If you don’t have one, pitting cherries can be done pretty easily with any knife. I use a paring knife to lightly press on the cherry as a I rotate the knife through the center, around the small pit.
When the cherry pops in half, the pit will be a bit loose from the pressure of the knife and you should be able to pop it right out.
You’ll get fast at this. I did all my cherries for this recipe in about five minutes.
Then lay the cherries out on a baking sheet. I recommend lining the sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup a bit easier.
Bake these bad boys at 425 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes until they are withered and the juices are bubbling. This will really intensify the sugars in the cherries and make them really rich.
Churning the Sherbet
Once your cherries are cool enough to handle, add all the ingredients to a blender!
Blend the mixture until it’s smooth. There will be some flecks of cherry skin in the mix which is just fine. It should be a light red color.
When it comes to chilling and churning, it’s important to get the sherbet really cold before churning it.
You can either stash the base in the fridge for a few hours to cool down or just pour it into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice batch (ice, salt, and water). Stir the mixture over this super-cold bath for a few minutes and it will chill down quickly.
When the base is cold, add it to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the instructions for your machine.
I have a Kitchenaid ice cream churner and to be honest, I don’t love it. I would just buy a standalone unit next time.
When the sherbet is a soft-serve consistency, transfer it to a freezer safe dish and freeze it until it’s solid. I recommend stirring it a few times as it freezes to break up the ice crystals that form and make it smoother.
When you’re ready to serve the sherbet, let it thaw for a few minutes at room temperature so it softens some.
As an aside, if you’ve ever wondered the difference between a sherbet and a sorbet, a sherbet has dairy in it while a sorbet is just juice. I prefer sherbet, especially with cherries!