Ice cream season is back, friends! And I couldn't be more excited to share this incredible recipe with you. I've been slowly perfecting my fruit ice creams over the years and I have to say - perfection has arrived. 

While I do live in the tart cherry capital of the world, sweet black cherries are grown here as well and it's damn near impossible to drive a mile down any road in the area without passing a stand selling those glorious bursts of flavor. Summer in northern Michigan is all about driving with the windows down, spitting cherry pits out the window as you down a whole bag, warmed by the sun. 

When some cherries do manage to make it back home and into the kitchen, I can't think of anything better to do with them than make this roasted cherry ice cream. 

I used black cherries to make my ice cream because I'm so drawn to the deep purple color they offer, but you could use any of the sweet cherry varieties dotting the orchard-filled hillsides to make this ice cream. The rainbow of sweet cherries available means you could make this ice cream any shade you like! 

I will say - for someone who calls this tart cherry capital home, my whole heart is with the sweet cherry. I'm a lover of sweets to the core and I can't get enough of how sweet this fruit is. So in addition to eating and cooking with all the sweet cherries I can manage, I also make a point to fill part of my freezer with these beauties in an effort to make the harvest last as much of the winter as possible. Sweet cherry smoothies while the snow flies are pure heaven.  

Once your cherries are roasted, coaxing out those sweet flavors, don't forget to scrape the pan into the blender. All the juices that have spilled out onto the pan are where the flavor magic lives. They're the answer to why this ice cream is so completely addicting. 

So pull out that ice cream maker, and get pitting - this ice cream is all you need to call this summer a success! 

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream

14oz sweet cherries, pitted

1 1/3 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla 

1/2 tsp almond extract 

optional chocolate ganache: 

1 cup chocolate chips 

1/2 cup heavy cream 

  • Spread cherries on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the juice oozes out onto the pan. 
  • Puree the cherries in a blender until smooth and set aside. 
  • Combine cream and 2Tbsp of the brown sugar in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until steaming. 
  • While the cream is warming, combine egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until the yolks begin to lighten in color and take on a ribbony texture. This can be done in a stand mixer if you please, but I usually just do it by hand while the cream warms. Earn that ice cream! 
  • Once the cream is warm, slowly pour the warm cream into the yolks, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the saucepan. 
  • Continue cooking over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring gently, until the mixture starts to thicken a bit. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cherry puree, vanilla, and almond extract. 
  • Refrigerate the mixture until fully chilled before churning. 
  • For the ganache, start by placing the chocolate in a small bowl. Warm the cream until it reaches a low boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. Refrigerate until you're ready to churn the ice cream. 
  • Churn ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions. When the ice cream is fully churned, add the ganache. I use a fork to crumble the ganache into small pieces before adding it to the ice cream maker. 
  • Freeze ice cream for at least 4 hours to solidify if you want it to be scoopable.