Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tart Cherry Ice Cream on the cheap

There are so many things that I love about the King Arthur Flour Company and their catalog. When the catalog comes in the mail, I find myself lusting over products that I don't need or have room for (whatever happened to using a good old fashioned oven for your cupcakes??). However, it is the K.A.F. recipes that I love, but majority of them require ingredients from their line of products. After swooning over the Tart Cherry Ice Cream recipe, I knew it was going to be a budget buster with their ingredients. I made a few simple swaps that took the cost of this recipe from $38 (with shipping) to $6 for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. 

I used my trusty Kitchen-Aid Ice Cream maker attachment to make this ice cream. I froze the bowl for 24 hours and also chilled the cherry ice cream base for 24 hours to let the flavors meld. The ice cream was too tart when I finished mixing it together, but the flavor mellowed and wasn't so harsh after sitting in the fridge overnight.

The original recipe is here, and below are my changes.

Tart Cherry Ice Cream on the Cheap

1 bottle of Trader Joe's Tart Cherry Juice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vanilla instant pudding (I used the Jell-O brand)

In the original recipe, K.A.F. has you use their special $17-for-16 oz. cherry juice concentrate, but that would make this recipe too expensive for me. The recipe writers suggest using frozen cherry juice concentrate as a substitution, but I couldn't find it at my local grocery stores. In a pinch I figured that Trader Joe's cherry juice would make a fine substitution.

In a saucepan, slowly simmer 2 cups of cherry juice (you will want to see tiny bubbles at the edges and avoid boiling), and reduce it down to about 3/4 cup of juice, about the consistency of maple syrup. I ended up having to do this twice because I got distracted and wandered off only to come back to a huge sticky mess that boiled over onto my stove top. Let the syrup cool in the fridge.

The recipe writers do make one thrifty suggestion that I actually used. Rather than buy their pastry mix for $9, they said that vanilla instant pudding would be a fine substitute. In a bowl, whisk together, the heavy cream, milk, sugar and 1/4 cup of the vanilla instant pudding powder. Add the cherry syrup and whisk till combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Then follow your manufacturers instructions for your ice cream maker.

Using my KitchenAid attachment, I mixed it at Level 1 and it came together in a frosty, custard-like consistency in about 20 minutes. Freeze it for at least two hours so that it can "ripen." It scooped out beautifully and I topped it with some chopped Trader Joe's bottled morello cherries. Next time I will reserve a little cherry syrup to drizzle over the top.

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