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Recipe: No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream

This is a formula worth saving

Daniela Galarza

No ice cream machine? No problem. Here's a brilliant, easy, and extra creamy recipe for cherry ice cream — from Short Stack Editions' latest book Cherries, by Saveur test kitchen director Stacy Adimando — that does not require any fancy equipment. All you need is a whisk, a bowl, a pot, some elbow grease, and a freezer. Sweetened condensed milk both sweetens and smooths out the base, sour cream adds some tang, and whipped cream gives it fluff. The best part? You can adapt this formula to use any fruit or flavoring. Chocolate chip with a hint of mint? Mango? Raspberry-peach? Yes, yes, and yes. Now get on this:

No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream

There's such fantastic ice cream in stores now that I never felt the need to purchase an ice cream maker. But not long ago I discovered I could make a simple homemade ice cream like this without any special equipment. It requires just a few simple ingredients, plus a basic loaf pan (or another freezer-safe container). The options for flavoring the base are endless, but when cherries are in season, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better mix-in. I add a little sour cream for tang and keep the amount of sugar relatively small, giving the end result a flavor that's more like frozen yogurt with the texture of ice cream. It's to die for topped with a bittersweet chocolate shell, chopped dark chocolate or raw cacao nibs.

2 cups sweet red cherries (1/2 pound), stemmed and pitted
1/3 cup sugar
Kosher salt
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
Chopped dark chocolate or raw cacao nibs, for serving (optional)

Serves 4 to 6

Into a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup of pitted whole cherries. Finely chop the remaining cherries and add them to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is juicy and the chopped cherries are soft enough that they can be easily squished with a spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, and set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or a whisk), whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the cooled cherry mixture, sour cream and a pinch of salt and, using a large spatula, fold them into the whipped cream (this may take a few minutes; be patient and keep folding).

Once all the ingredients have been fully incorporated, transfer the mixture to a 9-inch loaf pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 5 hours or until firm. Serve topped with chocolate or cacao nibs, if desired.

Recipe copyright Short Stack Editions, reprinted with permission.

Make the Perfect Ice Cream at Home