Bourbon-Cherry Ice Cream

Not so very long ago, I had the distinct pleasure of bringing this fig cake with buttermilk glaze to my friend Erin’s virtual baby shower.  I knew she’d like it, along with the accompanying story of down home food made with love.  Still, I knew she’d wonder why I hadn’t made something with bourbon.  It is our mutual love of bourbon, after all, that first brought us together.  Sure enough, she commented with a sweet “thank you” and a very expected and loving “Where’s the bourbon?”  To be honest, I thought about making her a bourbony treat, but isn’t that a cruel thing to do to a bourbon lover who can’t partake?

But guess what?  Erin’s had her sweet baby boy!  Isn’t he just the cutest?  That little smirk…precious.  seriously.  I melt.

So Erin, this ice cream is for you.  It may not quite be the summer cocktail you’ve been looking forward to, but it does combine some pretty excellent things–cherry, ice cream, and bourbon.  Enjoy some with your husband while you watch your sweet baby boy and I’d say you’ve got one amazing summer day.

bourbon cherry ice cream

Bourbon-Cherry Ice Cream

adapted from Williams-Sonoma


2 c. heavy cream

1 c. milk

1 1/4 c. sugar

6 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 lb. fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

4 TBSP bourbon, divded


1.  In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and milk. Heat,
stirring occasionally, until steam begins to rise from the surface,
about 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of
the sugar and the egg yolks until well blended.  Gradually add
the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly so as not to cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the
saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a
wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the
spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 7-9
minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

3.  Pour the custard
through a medium-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl and stir in the
vanilla. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and
water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally,
30 to 45 minutes.

4.  While the custard cools, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cherries, and 1 TBSP bourbon in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a
simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are soft and
have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened, 8-9 minutes.
Strain the cherries, reserving the liquid (you should have 1/3 to 1/2
cup liquid). Transfer the cherries to a small bowl and stir in the lemon
juice and remaining bourbon.  Let the liquid and cherries cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

5.  Remove
the custard from the ice water and stir in the reserved bourbon-cherry liquid.  Cover
the custard and cherries and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to
24 hours.

6.  Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze
according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the cherries during
the last 3-4 minutes of churning.  Transfer to a
freezer-safe container, then cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours before serving.  Makes 8-10 servings.

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  1. elly
    June 2, 2012 / 1:55 am

    This sounds awesome! I definitely want to give this a try, and definitely need to during cherry season!

  2. That Girl
    June 2, 2012 / 2:20 am

    What a cutie!

  3. Joanne
    June 3, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    I choose this over a cocktail ANYDAY! I am so in love with cherries right now…really need this in my life.

  4. Natalie
    June 8, 2012 / 5:50 pm

    bookmarking this to make this summer!!

  5. ErinsFoodFiles
    June 15, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    This sounds SOO delicious!! Thank you so much for making it! And thank you as well for all the kind words. :)(If you're wondering why it took me so long to respond, it's because I do 99% of my internet activity on my iPhone while feeding Elliott, which makes it really hard to leave comments when you're typing with one hand! So I've saved this as "unread" in my Google Reader until I had a free moment and was on the computer! haha!)

  6. Kelsey
    June 16, 2012 / 12:14 am

    Oh Erin, you are most welcome. And don't you worry one bit about not commenting immediately–you have much more important things to do (and feed!) than read my blog!

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