I finally got this recipe perfected!
It seems like it took a long time but I think it was only a couple of weeks and three attempts.
I was worried that cherry season would end and I would still not have a perfected recipe! This year the cherry season has been a long one with wonderful cherries and some very good prices, thank goodness!
I had never attempted making dairy free ice cream until I started working on this recipe.
The original recipe that inspired me was from Eating Well Magazine. Their recipe was a Rx for a reader’s old vanilla ice cream recipe that had lots of fat from heavy cream and half and half. The new recipe that they created used skim milk, so I just changed that to rice milk to make it dairy free.
The Eating Well Rx recipe also had cornstarch and Marshmallow Fluff,which are key ingredients to my new recipe as well.
The whole jar of Marshmallow Fluff has only 720 calories and 0 grams of fat.
There is no added sugar in this recipe other than what is in the jar of Marshmallow Fluff!
This recipe ends up being dairy and gluten free, low fat and low sugar!
I need to look up how many servings are in a quart and a half but it has to be quite a few! It didn’t dawn on me how truly healthy my new ice cream is until a day after I first posted the recipe! (I was just so excited that I had finally gotten it right!)
I think the main thing that I contributed (besides making it dairy free) was the addition of guar gum. Commercial ice cream uses guar gum to lessen the ice crystals and make it more creamy. I thought about using guar gum from the beginning but wanted to try to make the ice cream without it first.
My first attempt was using rice milk but without the guar gum. The flavor was great but it was very icy after being in the freezer.
I tried almond milk for my second attempt. It was icy just like the rice milk but had a funny, not quite almondy, heavy background flavor.
I decided to go back to the rice milk and added just 1 teaspoon of the guar gum for my recipe which makes 1- 1/2 quarts of ice cream. It made all of the difference! There is still a little bit of ice but that is because there is so many fresh cherries in there adding moisture. The texture is very creamy and the flavor is great!
My recipe uses 4 cups (about 2 pounds) of fresh cherries. It wasn’t a strong enough cherry flavor for me so I also added an 8oz package of dried tart cherries that I got at Trader Joes. They add a nice contrast and complexity to this ice cream.
This recipe takes a little bit of time to prepare because you are pitting and chopping the cherries then making a custard base. I think it is well worth the time because the result is something you can eat that tastes great.
I am including a picture of the cherry pitter that I just bought last week. It works so much better than the one that I had before! I now have it available in the amazon.com store that is on my blog website.
I will also put the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker that I use in my store too.
You add fresh cherries at two different times in this recipe. The first is pureed in with the custard base to give it nice color. The color actually went slightly browny so I added a few drops of red food coloring to make it more pink .
After the ice cream is frozen in your ice cream maker you add the 2nd two cups of cherries. It seems like this prevents those cherries from icing up during the freezing process.
Go get some cherries while they are still available and enjoy this ice cream recipe!
I think this recipe will convert easily to many other fresh fruits like strawberries, peaches, etc.
What about a peach ice cream with dried wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s? Yum!
You will need just under 2 pounds of fresh cherries for this recipe.
2 cups cherries, pitted and cut into pieces
Place cut up cherries in a small bowl and refrigerate. They will get added at the end.
2 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/2 cup rice milk
Heat halved cherries and rice milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture is steamy. Cook for a minute then remove from heat and set aside 15 minutes to soften.
In large saucepan heat until steaming:
2- 1/2 cups rice milk
Meanwhile, in medium sized bowl stir together:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tblsp cornstarch
1 teaspoon guar gum (available in my blog store)
pinch of salt
Add 1/2 cup of cold rice milk and mix thoroughly to get rid of any lumps
Add 3 egg yolks (remove white membrane) and
1- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix everything together until smooth.
Add 1 cup hot rice milk to the egg mixture and stir well.
Pour egg mixture into saucepan with hot rice milk.
Whisk mixture constantly until it thickens- about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove thickened mixture from heat and let cool for 10 minutes then add softened cherries to mixture.
Use a hand held or immersion blender carefully in the saucepan to puree the hot mixture.
Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and let cool .
When cool, stir in 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff (7- 1/2 oz). Whisk Fluff into mixture until it is in small even sized pieces.
I stirred in a few drops of red food coloring to make it a nicer pink because it is a little bit browny colored otherwise.
Add 1- 8 oz bag of tart dried cherries (I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the mixture surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cover thoroughly and refrigerate overnight if possible.
Pour chilled mixture into the canister of your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. My ice cream maker took 25 minutes to freeze the cherry mixture.
Remove from canister and place in a large bowl so you can stir in the reserved 2 cups of chopped fresh cherries.
Place in freezer container and freeze to harden for a few hours.
Makes 1- 1/2 quarts
Optional: If you want to add chocolate chips to this recipe, do it at the same time as the chopped cherries.
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